One industry where the linear tape file system (LTFS) has seen the most rapid uptick in its adoption is in the media and entertainment industry. However there are three (3) cautionary notes that organizations should still keep in mind if they opt to go down the path of using LTFS to access data stored on tape.
One of the more difficult tasks for anyone deeply involved in technology is the ability to see the forest from the trees. Often responsible for supporting the technical components that make up today’s enterprise infrastructures, to step back and recommend which technologies are the right choices for their organization going forward is a more difficult feat. While there is no one right answer that applies to all organizations, five (5) technologies – some new as well as some old technologies that are getting a refresh – merit that organizations prioritize them in the coming months and years.
DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its DCIG 2014-15 Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 80 features on more than 40 tape libraries from eight (8) different storage providers. Driven by growing corporate requirements to economically meet Big Data’s storage capacity demands, tape and tape libraries are finding new life in this environment. Like all previous DCIG Buyer’s Guides, this Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that organizations need when selecting a tape library as they (again) come to the realization that storing data to tape long term remains a cost-effective and viable option.
Though no one would make the statement that tape as a storage medium will ever leapfrog over disk again as the preferred method of data storage, it can be said with confidence that one of the oldest computer storage medium is holding steady in its current niche and is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Expansive tape libraries have remained a necessity as the Big Data market grows ever larger each year. An interesting illustration of this growth is that while tape sales dropped by 14% in 2012 overall, sales actually rose by 1% in the third quarter of 2012, and some analysts expect them to increase again by at least 3% in calendar year 2013. The amount of data growth is becoming exponentially greater with small, medium and large enterprise organizations alike generating much more data and storing it to tape than ever before. The benefits of tape over disk for long-term storage are well-documented, but…
If the preliminary survey data for the 2014 DCIG Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide is any indication the tape industry is still alive and is adapting to its evolving role.
Ask any large organization how many tapes they have sitting around in local storage or at Iron Mountain or some other third party storage facility and odds are they have more tapes – and are likely spending more money storing these tapes – than they would like to admit. This opens up a unique opportunity for a third party provider to solve this dilemma. In this third part of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, we discuss how using the BridgeSTOR VTL cloud gateway appliance organizations can move their tape museums into the cloud.
Anyone involved with managing any serious amounts of data (and when I say “serious amounts of data,” I mean multiple PBs of data) knows that today’s disk-based storage solutions are, for the most part, not equipped to meet the diverse requirements of storing this amount of data. While still an extreme use case, a growing number of organizations have to manage PBs of data.
Bad news is only bad until you hear it, then it’s just information followed by opportunity. Information may arrive in political, personal, technological and economic forms. It creates opportunity which brings people, vision, ideas and investment together. When thinking about a future history of 2013, three (3) opportunities come to mind.
The factors that influenced which tape library to use in your environment used to be much simpler in nature when tape was used primarily as a backup target. But as disk has evolved to assume that role, tape libraries have evolved to provide new features so they may assume a much more strategic position within organizations to support their Big Data and Cloud initiatives. In this webcast, I take a look at how to choose the right tape library for your environment in light of these new forces that are impacting the use of tape libraries within organizations.
The tape pendulum is swinging back to the middle with more and more people coming to recognize that tape is more than alive; it has a bright future in front of it. However what people may fail to recognize is the many innovations going on right now in tape that are primed to be announced in just the next few years. In this fifth and final blog entry in my interview series with Spectra Logic’s CEO Nathan Thompson, he pulls back the veil a bit and provides some insight into what we should expect tape libraries to deliver in the next few years.
Despite some claims to the contrary, the primary use case for tape remains in the context of backup. It is HOW tape is being used in the backup process that is changing. As it does, it is putting tape in a better position to solve certain data protection concerns that disk and even new flash media drives can never solve. In part IV of my interview series with Spectra Logic’s CEO Nathan Thompson, he discusses why tape will remain an integral part of backup processes for a long time to come.
Despite the marketing buzz about the demise of tape, one almost indisputable fact remains: up to 80% of the world’s data resides on tape. Statistics like that helped to convince Spectra Logic that there was a bright light at the end of the tape tunnel and prompted it to double down on tape products. In this second part of my interview with Spectra Logic’s CEO, we discuss what Spectra Logic saw–that others did not–that led it to focus more heavily on tape as opposed to disk.
One of the most engaging and friendly CEOs one can hope to meet in the technology industry is none other than Spectra Logic’s CEO Nathan Thompson who came from very humble beginnings and has worked hard to build Spectra Logic to what it is today – the leading manufacturer of tape libraries. However, how Spectra Logic came to assume this position is an interesting story in and of itself. Today, in the first part of this interview series with Nathan, he sheds some light on how Spectra Logic became so tape centric and even today views tape as an underserved market.
DCIG is very excited to announce the availability of its inaugural DCIG 2012 Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 140 features on more than 60 tape libraries from 8 different storage providers. Driven by the explosion of storage requirements to address “Big Data” and the “Cloud,” organizations are now more than ever looking for cost-effective, viable storage media on which to store this data. This is why DCIG believes tape libraries are poised to be one of the big benefactors of these growing storage demands which prompted DCIG to produce its first ever Tape Library Buyer’s Guide to help enterprises choose the right solution for their environment.
This year’s spring Storage Networking World (SNW) 2012 show was unlike any other that I had attended in the past. While I had good conversations with the folks from FalconStor, HP, QLogic, Spectra Logic and Nimbus Data Systems among others, what was most remarkable about this SNW was the lack of notable new announcements around storage.
Today is the last business day of 2011 and with it DCIG brings you our top most read and referenced blog entries. Each blog entry is compelling, yet timeless. What we find ironic about these blogs is that even as topics like “cloud,” “deduplication,” and “virtualization” generate a great deal of buzz, simple blog entries on storage, backup and data center labeling outperform them due to their foundations for IT leaders and practitioners.
Everyone asks, “Is tape dead?” Personally, I think that question is ridiculous. There will always be a demand for tape. The better question is, “How is the tape industry evolving to ensure tape remains relevant as a solution to address current technology trends such as “Big Data,” “the Cloud” and virtualization?” This is the more pressing question regarding tape’s future to which Spectra Logic provided some excellent answers this past week at its first ever analyst and press event.
Over the past 15 or so months DCIG has released a multitude of Buyer’s Guides on topics ranging from Midrange Arrays to Virtual Server Backup Software to Small Enterprise Storage Arrays to Midrange Array Snapshot Software. As DCIG has done so, it has learned a great deal about what it has done right and areas where it can improve. But the general feedback is that the Buyer’s Guides provide users valuable insight into different technologies and help them understand the market landscape. So today DCIG is announcing the topics for its Buyer’s Guides that it plans to release for the remainder of 2011 and the first half of 2012.
Yesterday the first ever Tape Summit kicked off at the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Henderson, NV, which is about 15 miles southeast of the Las Vegas strip. The opening night began with a keynote by Spectra Logic’s VP of Marketing, Molly Rector, who cited a recent article by Storage Switzerland’s George Crump where he said (paraphrasing) that what is saving tape is the same thing that saved Apple: innovation. I agree with his sentiments in part but I see innovation as only part of what is spurring tape’s growth.
Of all the topics that I thought I might be writing about after my first day in attendance at the fall Storage Networking World (SNW) conference in 2010, I did not think tape would be it. In fact, it was not even on my radar screen walking into the show. But after meeting with the Ultrium LTO team yesterday at SNW, it is clear that tape is back in the storage conversation and those arguing for its broader adoption and continued use have much more to talk about than its power savings, larger capacities and faster speeds.