Wednesday, September 11, 2019

TCO Tool V2 has arrived!

In conjunction with the availability of LTO 8 tape media, the Fujifilm TCO tool has been significantly enhanced. There are a number of important changes with this version; the tape technology used for the estimated tape TCO has been changed from LTO 7 to LTO 8, the amount of data supported in the initial year increased to 100 PB, the disk TCO calculations have been updated to reflect the use of new higher capacity 12 and 14 TB HDD's, CAPEX and OPEX are calculated for 5 and 10 years, Cloud Storage TCO has been updated to incorporate the new low-cost deep archive offerings and Systems Management personnel costs have been added.
Systems Management is one of those costs that most models shy away from for a good reason; they are hard to estimate! To help develop the estimate large (mostly higher than 10 PB) tape storage customers were surveyed for disk and tape storage systems management effort measured in Full-Time-Equivalents (FTE’s). Secondary market research was used for the cloud storage systems management estimate in conjunction with the survey results. These values are used the default values in the TCO tool. Of course, individual environments may vary dramatically. There may be different applications, different user groups and different storage tools. To accommodate this, systems management effort per PB can be changed on the "Options" page. 

For a quick TCO estimate, using the default values, only three variables are required on the first tab; the amount of storage needed in the first year, the annual growth rate and the percentage of data retrieved each year. The additional variables are accessed on the Options tab. Try out the new tool at TCO Tool V2.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 updated TCO Tool is here!

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: Updated TCO Tool 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tape storage continues to offer the lowest cost TCO for cold data

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

Estimating the Total Cost of Long Term Data Storage

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

LTO 8 is here!

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

Using LTO and LTFS to Improve Media and Broadcast Industries Workflows

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

A new tape storage technology benchmark

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