When I met new friends and told them I was in the data tape business, I was used to looking weird and asking a lot of questions. “Really? magnetic tape? 2020? ” It’s a common response.
I can forgive some people – those who last came into contact with consumer VHS tapes or cassette tapes in the late 1990s or early 2000s. But when I told them that tape is a major force in cloud computing, and most of the well-known technology and Internet companies are tape users, I became very happy to expand their point of view. British Columbia (including several data protection applications) is an important reason for the low TCO and low power consumption of tape. I think we can all agree that economics and environmental protection are the key to maintaining continuity.
At present, it is in the era of ZB. The global data volume is about 35zb, and it is expected to reach 175zb by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 30%.
It’s very possible to see similar data explosion speed in your own enterprise. Today everything is digital, not only structured data (such as databases), but also unstructured data (such as spreadsheets, documents, presentations, videos, audio and photos). In addition, devices and devices in the Internet of things – Smart vehicles, smart airplanes, smart phones, smart homes, factories and cities. Then add AI, ML, e-commerce, e-mail, social media, games, monitoring, VR, mobile and so on to other content, and you can see the way forward.
We’ve kept all of this data for years or even decades, because they have the potential to prove that they’re archived or stored online in an active archive. Whether your business relies on archived videos or photos, collects data for sale to external parties, or uses information for internal streamlining, strategy, or planning, it’s impossible to imagine a modern business without ever-increasing data value.
Today, almost all data is managed throughout its life cycle using three core storage technologies (flash, HDD, and tape). I know some of you are thinking, “but where’s the cloud?” The fact is that the cloud is more like a service delivery model than a storage technology. It uses global connectivity to make core technologies such as flash memory, hard disk and tape run seamlessly and covertly in the background.
These core technologies are not competitive in themselves, because they play a role in the storage workflow and life cycle.
Flash provides the fastest access time, making it the choice of data that needs frequent and instant access. The price is higher / TB.
HDD is cheaper, but the trade-off is that the speed is slower than flash memory and a lot of energy consumption.
Tape is the cheapest of the three magnetic media so far. It needs zero power consumption when it is idle in the tape library or archive, so it can be stored for a long time. With the highest reliability and longest archive life of all storage media, you will have a strong backing.
For many businesses, perhaps yours, information can be the most valuable asset. In essence, cumulative data is cumulative value. Where there is value, there will always be people who seek to use or steal it.
Cyber crime is on the rise and its impact is shocking. According to SonicWALL, there were 7.2 billion malware attacks and 151.9 million blackmail attacks in the first three quarters of 2019. The healthcare industry alone reported an 80% increase in cybercrime between 2017 and 2019, with hundreds of incidents and 400000 HIPAA protected patient records stolen. Encryption hijacking is the latest threat. 52.7 million incidents occurred in 19cq1. Hackers controlled the user’s CPU to mine data to obtain cryptocurrency.
This is where the tape use case is particularly powerful. While rotating disks and flash drives have always been networked and accessible, tape can also support active archiving, or can be easily stored offline and accessed only when needed. This creates a “gap” between valuable data, local network and network, which is encouraged by the National Institute of standards and technology and is “the only real risk aversion in today’s IT environment”.
In addition to cybercrime, the recent outbreak of cowid-19 reminds us of the vulnerability of global supply chains, especially in the field of technology. We know that unlike other storage technologies, tape has a broad manufacturing footprint, including production in the United States, so enterprises can get some comfort from it.
Without a vision of the future, there is no complete discussion. The LTO format is an industry standard, and has committed to develop a long-term roadmap to ensure that from today’s 8th and 30th generation tape cartridge capacity to the current planned 12th generation tape cartridge capacity of 480th generation compressed data, tape will become the relevant technology in the next few years.
Such low cost of ownership and energy consumption, security, reliability and scalability are the main reasons why almost all large cloud service providers also rely on tapes in their large-scale data centers. Moreover, even if medium-sized enterprises are facing the challenges of massive data and growing data, the value proposition of tape is attracting a wider audience again.
Today, your enterprise may not be a super large data center, but maybe it’s time to start thinking.