Tape: Optimal solution for Big Data storage
New technologies such as Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and recently developed tape storage features, such as encryption are increasing the suitability and attractiveness of tape
he need for mass storage is seeking a revival through a technology, which only a few years ago was written off by all in the industry: magnetic tape.
Tape is one of the oldest computer storage mediums still in use. Despite predictions on the demise of tape storage, tape is very much alive and reinventing its strong identity as a storage medium that can provide many benefits, particularly for long-term preservation of data. According to the Tape Storage Council, tape capacity shipments reached a record level in 2012 of more than 20,000 PB (that’s 20 EB), with projected growth of over 25 percent this year. Recent installations by Amazon and Google are confirming this trend. Google — like almost 80 percent of customers, according to Gartner — continue to use tape as part of its data protection strategy to support its applications. In spite of new technologies creating hype every few months, customers still look at tape for their long-term archiving and data retention needs.
RELEVANCE OF TAPE STORAGE IN THE ERA OF BIG DATA
Tape is reliable, low power, low cooling, and cheap. Given its reliability and associated lower costs, tape is a great solution to archive data for any organization with massive amount of unstructured data.
New technologies such as Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and recently developed tape storage features, such as encryption are increasing the suitability and attractiveness of tape. Industries such as media and entertainment, intelligence, oil and gas, and life sciences view tape as essential for storing and protecting the massive data volumes they generate. With all the new data generated from HD cameras and the focus on re-monetizing content in different ways, storing everything on disk simply isn’t feasible from a cost standpoint.
Big Data is real. It is no more a trend but a key business differentiator. According to a CSC report, data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. With such huge amounts of data being created every day, IT departments across all sectors are struggling with managing, storing and protecting vast quantities of data. Additionally, organizations are capturing and converting more and more content into digital data. Also driving up the amount of data that companies must store today are the growing obligations that regulations and laws are placing on companies gathering and storing data about customers, partners and even employees. Many companies need to retain backup data for months or years for compliance reasons, and it becomes part of the data growth and data management challenge for companies. Customers these days can’t afford to just put all their data on disk; they must do more than that to keep up with this growth.
One way to respond to this data growth is with tiered storage architecture. Companies should use the right combination of storage technologies — disk, tape and even flash — to meet their RTOs and/or SLAs while minimizing TCO.
In addition to its use for backup and retrieval, offsite storage of data on tape is the primary element in most disaster recovery and business contingency plans.
As data continues to grow at a rapid pace and needs of organizations change, tape will play an ever important role not only in managing data effectively but in maintaining IT budgets.
is the Senior Director of Marketing for Quantum’s Asia-