David Treadwell, Solutions Director at Titan Data Solutions, tells us why the forecasted death of tape is yet to happen
In 2000, Y2K, the infamous “millennium bug” was expected to cause global chaos, we saw Big Brother for the first time on our screens and Coldplay released their debut album and inspired a generation of singer songwriters. In the same year, but with maybe a little less widespread public interest, LTO magnetic tape cartridges were first introduced with a whopping 100GB capacity… yes 100GB!
Over the past twenty years headlines have frequently heralded the ‘death of tape’. Tape isn’t dead, in fact, the technology is only improving. With a roadmap out to LTO 12 (courtesy of the LTO consortium), we will see up to 480TB capacity in a single cartridge within the next ten years! LTO continues to meet the needs of Big Data storage in a reliable and secure way, at the lowest cost.
With each new generation comes higher capacities and faster transfer rates. LTO technology is currently in its 8th generation. LTO-8 now boasts a compressed capacity of up to 30TB, more than double the previous generation. Tape vendors continue to improve the core technology, leading to faster and more secure backups for IT admins.
As well as high capacities and long-term archival storage, LTO provides the best defence against Ransomware, providing an “air-gap” where data is completely off-line and secure from potential security attacks. In addition, since it is offline, the tape cartridge draws no power. These elements help provide secure, low cost data content preservation.
The biggest threat to tape in recent years has stemmed from the huge data migration into the “cloud”. While this may have been the “in-thing” a few years ago, more and more companies are now moving back to a hybrid solution, trusting their valuable backup data to both an on-premises location as well as a secondary archive copy in the cloud. As such, we have seen a huge resurgence in tape, as well as latest technology LTO8 tape hardware solutions, this year.
At Titan Data Solutions we are shipping Petabytes of LTO storage every month. We have in-house services that include tape labelling as well as M8 formatting and initialization, all of which have contributed to our current position as Quantum’s largest LTO media Distributor in EMEA.