Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IBM Unleashes LTO Generation 7

Yesterday IBM announced a comprehensive set of tape storage offering incorporating the new LTO generation 7 tape drives. The new LTO 7 tape drives and media provide a native cartridge capacity of 6 Terabytes (15 TB with compression) up from 2.5 TB in the LTO 6 offerings and a data rate of 300 MB/second up from the 160 MB/Second for LTO 6.  As with previous generations, the new tape drives protect customer’s media investment by having the ability to read and write to LTO 6 tape media, and reading LTO 5. The new LTO Gen 7 tape drives are incorporated across a broad set of platforms and libraries from entry, standalone half height SAS tape drives, to small tape libraries, to mid-size libraries, to large enterprise fiber channel tape libraries. An overview of the announcement can be found at LTO Overview and Tony Pearson from IBM updated his blog here: IBM Storage Blog. Details on individual offerings can be found here IBM LTO announcement. All of the offerings show planned availability dates in 2015 with the first shipment dates varying from 10/23/2015 to 12/4/2015. 

As customers wrestle with the growing demands to store, manage and preserve dramatically growing amounts of digital data, the new LTO 7 tape solutions provide a welcome relief. The higher capacity and performance of LTO Gen 7 provides the ability to cost effectively store very large amounts of archive, big data, video, and other information. By integrating with a broad range of tape automation, IBM customers can apply the new technology across a wide range of capacity and performance requirements.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A cloud storage TCO comparison

The amount of digital information organizations are generating and retaining continues to grow unabated. It was not that long ago that a few terabytes of storage in a data center was considered a massive amount. Today organizations store tens, hundreds or thousands of terabytes of data and there is no indication that the growth rate is going to slow. Much of this information must be kept for the long term. This challenges the IT organization; how can service levels be met while meeting regulatory, legal and business needs? How can it be cost effectively stored?

A new solution has emerged to help address these questions; cloud storage. Proponents of cloud storage point to a number of benefits, among them is substantially lower cost than traditional on premise storage.  User cost savings accrue by reducing the amount of hardware, software and storage management required. This is made possible through the use of ready-made cloud based storage infrastructure, thereby eliminating many of the storage costs and management tasks required to effectively manage a large and growing amount of information.

However, understanding and comparing cloud storage costs can be a challenge. Sponsored by Fujifilm, this white paper presents a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) comparison between a leading cloud storage provider and the new Fujifilm Dternity Media Cloud service. It is based on a representative 250 TB use case that includes estimates of the amount of data to be stored and its activity level.  While the leading cloud storage services are viewed by industry observers as very cost competitive, the Fujifilm Dternity solution provided an even greater TCO savings. It was estimated to be 34% less expensive over the five year analysis period and the hybrid on premise/ public cloud mixed solution was 47% less expensive. The paper can be found at: Cloud Storage Services TCO Report

Friday, April 10, 2015

A view into the future

Making storage decisions often requires an estimate of where the underlying technology is going. It’s a bit like driving on a foggy night, at times the visibility is pretty good, and at other times, it is difficult to see ten feet in front of you. The last thing any decision maker wants to do is place an organizations data on a storage technology that is coming to a dead end.  Yesterday, IBM cleared some of the fog away, and provided an exciting view of tape storage technology New Record for Tape Storage. Working in conjunction with Fujifilm, they demonstrated an areal recording density of 123 billion bits of uncompressed data per square inch on low cost, particulate magnetic tape. This translates into an estimated tape cartridge capacity of 220 TB, or roughly 88 of today’s LTO Generation 6 tape. It’s a long way from the lab to commercial availability, but with this kind of visibility into the potential for tape storage, storage decision makers can look well down the road and see that tape storage is likely to remain the lowest cost storage technology for the foreseeable future.