Each year FujiFilm sponsors the Global IT Executive Summit. This year’s event is in Boston. The focus is, of course, tape, and its goal is to convince IT professionals that tape is alive and well. Let’s be clear, Storage Switzerland’s stance is if your data center is attempting to store more than 100 TBs of capacity, you should consider tape as part of an overall storage strategy.
Users are creating more data than ever and now we have devices, sensors and machines. Unstructured data is growing at an alarming rate. And IT will rarely access this data again after its creation. But the problem is that IT has to keep it just in case a user ever needs it. In short we have a whole bunch of data that you need to keep for a long period of time that someone might need at some point and time.
The Economics of Tape
Tape is a compelling storage medium for this data. The number one reason? Cost. Tape storage media is currently LTO 7 is about $18 per TB. And when the tape is not in use, it, unlike flash or hard disk drives, does not require power. Tape is also is very dense, taking far less data center floor space.
The Tape Negatives
The economics of tape are very compelling, the reputation of tape is the bigger problem. People for various reasons, most of which are based on folk lore, simply don’t like tape. They see tape as too fragile and too complex for the data center. These are the negatives that tape has to overcome and they can be, easily. One negative is fragility. Vendors can solve that by improving cartridge durability. Complexity is another negative. That can be overcome by software and hardware solutions that make interaction with tape seamless.
If tape can overcome these negatives and continue to extend its economic lead it has a bright future ahead. At the summit we will hear about the various technologies that will overcome some of tape negatives and, of course, we will hear from FujiFilm and others about extending tapes positives. We will provide you updates throughout the event.