Late last year, the initial version of the FujiFilm TCO tool was released. It provided an easy way to quickly compare the cost of storing data on tape, disk and the cloud. Only three inputs were needed; the amount of data to be saved, the annual growth rate and the percentage of data retrieved each year. With this version, additional variables have been added to allow for a greater range of tailoring. These variables can be found on the “Advanced” tab. They include; the number of data copies needed, energy cost, the ratio of cartridges to drive, the % of copies stored off-site, the average vaulting cost for tape cartridges and the size of the average data request. It also includes a number of variables to tailor the cost estimates for networking; bandwidth requirements and cost. Also, on the advanced tab are cost breakdowns for each of the storage types. To give the new tool a try go to this link: TCO Tool Version 2
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
For the storage of “cold” data, that is information that is not going to be accessed frequently, tape storage continues to provide compelling cost savings. The linked presentation highlights the potential savings of tape storage versus high capacity, low-cost disk systems, cloud storage and flash. I used very conservative assumptions regarding the various costs, and tape storage was 74% less expensive than disk and 84% less than cloud. The presentation can be accessed here: TCO Presentation.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
As the amount of data organizations create and manage continues to grow, the cost-effective storage of infrequently accessed information has become a significant challenge. There are several different technologies available for long term data storage, and the one of the significant management issues is to understand the total cost of the different technologies for long term storage of cold data. Working with FujiFilm, I developed a simple, easy to use calculator that provides an estimate of the 10-year total cost of ownership of data storage using tape, cloud and disk technologies. The tape storage costs are based on LTO 7 tape drives and media. The disk storage costs are composed of an average of high capacity, low cost disk systems using 10 TB Enterprise HDD’s while the cloud storage cost estimates are based on an industry leading cloud storage provider. The estimates include the cost of a refreshing the disk and tape infrastructure after 5 years. Here’s a link to the tool TCO Tool.
Friday, October 13, 2017
On October 10th IBM announced the next generation of LTO tape drives, LTO generation 8. The new tape drives are available in a variety of platforms, from the single half-height drive desktop system, to the enterprise class tape libraries; TS3500 and TS4500. All the platforms are planned to be available this year with different availability dates ranging from October through December. For details here is the link: Details. IBM provides a video from the development team discussing the new offering IBM LTO 8 and there is also an article in Forbes LTO 8.
The LTO 8 announcement represents a return to the good old days, when the LTO program was running on a two to 2 ½ year announcement cycle between generations. The new tape offering, will support a 12 TB tape cartridge, providing a very high capacity, scalable, resilient and secure storage media for backup and archive applications. Clearly, given the amount of data that is being created and stored today, organizations of all sizes must consider tape storage to deal with the massive quantities of data in a cost effective and energy efficient way.
Monday, September 25, 2017
The LTO Program just released an eBook entitled “Best Practices for Managing Video Workflows” Trust LTO WhitePapers . The Media and Broadcast industries have experienced a digital revolution that has fundamentally changed the way the industries produce content. Digital technology has proliferated across the workflow; from production, to post-production to distribution and archive. This eBook discusses this revolution, and how LTO with LTFS is being utilized across the entire process to reduce costs, improve workflows and protect content.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
IBM Research and Sony announced a tape technology demonstration yesterday that would support a potential tape cartridge capacity of 330 TB. As organizations continue to experience rapid digital data growth, tape technology is positioned to provide a cost effective storage solution in the coming years. Tape Technology Demonstration
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
The Computer History Museum ( http://www.computerhistory.org/ ) just released the video history of IBM tape storage including the IBM 3480 (introduced in 1984), tape media , an overview of tape products and tape product management and LTO tape (introduced in 2000). The interviews include current and former IBM development, business and marketing personnel that participated these programs.
If you’re interested in the history of this storage technology, then these interviews will provide a very informative and entertaining education on the evolution of tape storage. They are not short, so break out the popcorn, find a comfortable chair and enjoy!