George Crump of Information Week reports that tape isn’t dying off anytime soon -- in fact, he predicts it will gain importance in data centers in the coming years.

“Thanks to the increased importance of economics, as well as the popularization of three tape technologies, 2013 was a very successful year for tape technology,” says Crump.

In our assessment he couldn’t be more correct. The economic factor comes down to the fact that storing massive amount so of data on tape (offline) is far less expensive than storing it on disk (online).

Even with the Cloud becoming more and more prominent in the data storage world, there is a place for tape. Earlier in 2013, Crump outlined the three roles for tape with regard to the cloud:

1. Cloud seeding.
2. Cloud recovery.
3. Cloud deep archive.

The truth of the matter is that the cloud can be susceptible to error and even failure. Backing up all data to tape assures any organization full data recovery if there are problems with the cloud.

Crump also cites “standardization” as a reason for tape’s present and future success. He points to LTO media’s importance in the majority of data centers that use tape. “The first technology that made tape more attractive in 2013 was the linear tape file system,” says Crump.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the linear tape file system (LTFS), it allows for you to easily save and recover data -- just as you would with a hard drive. Prior to the institution of LTFS, information retrieval was time consuming -- not to mention frustrating.

In our minds, one of the most important things about tape is that it can be recycled and reused. Not only does recycling keep e-waste out of landfills, it provides a great opportunity for growing organizations to purchase tape and other equipment for far less money.

Recycling also helps organizations recoup a portion of technology investments. Big Data Supply’s tape buyback program is a perfect example. We buy used tape, completely eradicate all data on all tapes, and make them available for purchase.

Want to learn more about tape? We would be happy to answer your questions and help point you in the right direction. Give us a call or drops us an e-mail!

Contact us today: [email protected] | Toll Free 800-905-7329 | Local 949-679-6633

LTFS LTO Ultrium Tape Technology

LTFS - Linear Tape File System in LTO Ultrium generations 5 and above.

LTO tape media was created to offer media professionals an expansive, cost-effective, and stable storage solution for their ever-growing data collection.

With data needs growing exponentially, organizations are quickly finding out that disk-only storage is very expensive -- not to mention it isn’t the most secure method for long-term storage. Data Storage experts, including StorageDNA, have discovered that the cost of LTO is 3-4 times less expensive than disk drive storage and 20 times less than SAN.

LTO-5 and LTO-6 drives with LTFS are manufactured by HP, IBM, and Quantum and tape developed by Fuji, Imation, and Maxell.

The following are the true benefits of LTO and LTFS for long-term archiving:

1. LTO is the most reliable medium on the market. Tape can last for 30 years and more if stored in a stable environment. This assures organizations large and small that their data will be accessible at any moment.

2. LTFS allows for tape to work like disk. Gone are the days in which LTO was hard to navigate through to find a specific piece of data. Now it allows for data to be stored in manner that looks a lot more like disk storage.

3. LTO is recyclable and reusable. One of the major pluses associated with tape is its sustainability. If for any reason you want to purge data stored on a tape, it is possible to completely erase it, have a tape resurfaced, and reuse it again.

At Big Data Supply, Inc., we even offer top dollar for used tape, recycle it, and then sell it. We believe in taking care of Planet Earth and inspiring organizations to make responsible decisions surrounding the technologies they use.

Curious if LTO is the right choice for your data storage needs? We invite you to call our offices or e-mail us your questions and we’ll help you make the right choice.

Have new and/or used tape you’d like to sell? We can also help you recoup some of your initial investment and get cash into your hands.

Thankfully, as we move into 2014, there are a growing number of data storage solutions. We’ll keep you updated!

The Cloud, Tape and the Future of Data Storage...

The Cloud, Tape and the Future of Data Storage...

According to Spectra Logic chief technology officer Matt Starr, the science of securing yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s data has officially become quite complex. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for the world’s organizations.

The days of storing data in megabytes and gigabytes is long gone – now some organizations are storing petabytes (equal to one million gigabytes) and even exabytes (one billion gigabytes) of data within their archives.

To effectively store data, some companies are turning to cloud-based solutions. When considering the cloud, many think of it as a magic solution – forgetting that “the cloud” also relies on hardware utilized by a cloud vendor.

Starr explains that transferring data into the cloud can be a time consuming pursuit. “You can’t move petabytes across the wire.”

Many organizations are learning this the hard way. Plus, costs can mount quickly. This is why LTO tape is still alive and well. With its new file system, LTFS (Linear Tape File System), it is possible to write massive amounts of data in a short amount of time.

Even in the case that organizations are relying on the cloud, they are thankful to learn that data can be written to an LTO tape and shipped to a cloud provider. “They ingest those tapes and, voila—your data is now in the cloud,” says Starr.

And then there is recovery… relying on disk and/or the cloud doesn’t provide security against data being completely wiped out. Tape stored offline assures that data can be recovered against all odds. Thus, hybrid solutions for data storage are becoming the norm.

Starr predicts in the coming years “the solution is to move into an archive environment.” This means that instead of storing data that is rarely used on a primary drive, it will be deleted from local servers and moved into an archived tape-centric environment. If for any reason specific data is needed again, it can be brought back to live storage. The key is that valuable space isn’t gobbled up by data that is meaningless or presently insignificant.

And finally, one can’t overlook the importance of recycling and reusing data storage equipment. Because data storage environments are ever growing and evolving, it is vital that organizations become more aware of how to capitalize on recycling services.
The future must see organizations get creative with their data storage environments – developing a system that cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally-friendly.

Learn how Big Data Supply can help you attain all three of these goals!

Curious of all this LTO LTFS talk and want to see how LTO-5 and LTFS are being utilized by a real-world organization?
The following video is a case study presented by IBM. Learn how one of their customers in Athens, Greece has simplified their archival process and cut costs significantly:

We buyback LTO cartridges in new and used condition, if you would like a free value audit on what you have please send us a list of what you have.


LTFS - Linear Tape File System in LTO Ultrium generations 5 and above.

According to a recent analysis by the Compliance, Governance, and Oversight Counsel, 69 percent of the data saved by organizations have little or no value whatsoever. The wild part of the equation is that organizations pay a substantial amount of money to store this data and make it readily available at any moment in time.

If the majority of data is stored digitally, the costs can grow to astronomical levels. Thus, organizations are faced with either continuing to pay for data that is never going to be used or they are tasked with the challenge of sorting through the data in order to eliminate and/or move it to a more cost-effective storage system.

This objective can be extremely time-consuming and difficult, given the huge amounts of data that most organizations generate on a regular basis.

David Hill, Tech guru and writer for, suggests that tape offers a cost-effective alternative to disk drives. What’s more, LTO tape’s recent adoption of the LTFS (Linear Tape File System) makes writing to tape as easy as writing to disk.

Thanks to IBM, the LTO Consortium – which is comprised of HP, Quantum, IBM, and other key brands – LTFS became a reality. This makes tape much more functional and realistic for organizations seeking to access important data 24 x 7.

The next step for IBM in the world of LTO tape is the integration of the General Parallel File System (GPFS) with LTFS. The company announced at EDGE 2013 in Las Vegas that now customers can effectively move data from hard disks directly to tape. This makes the transfer of massive amounts of data more plausible.

Hill suggests that organizations consider storing their “no-value” data on LTO until their leaders can decide on what data to keep and what data to discard. This allows for HDDs to be freed up for the most relevant data.

To take advantage of LTFS, you must invest in either LTO-5 or LTO-6. Earlier LTO formats didn’t include LTFS. Regardless of what brand of LT0-5 or LTO-6 you choose, you can be sure you are gaining technology that will last for decades.

According the 2012 Compliance, Governance, and Oversight counsel Summit analysis, a whopping 69 percent of a company's data has no immediate value. This means that the majority of organizations are spending massive amounts of money to make sure that unneeded data is available 24 x 7 via disk.

IT professionals around the world, and the organizational leaders they consult, are often overwhelmed by the idea of making major changes -- such as the adoption of both disk and tape.

There are many that love to assert that "tape is dead" -- however, huge brands such as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook are proving that hybrid data storage solutions (a mix of disk and tape) ARE the answer to the equation.

Not only is tape a reliable backup solution, the Clipper Group recently discovered the average cost of storing archived data on disk is 26 time more expensive than the utilization of an automated tape library.

Thankfully, the last couple of years have seen tape become highly user friendly. With the birth of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) as developed by IBM in 2010, writing to tape has become amazingly easy. Gone are the days in which tape users had to run through hours and hours of tape to find an exact piece of data.

More specifically, files on LTO-5 and LTO-6 tape are stored in a similar fashion as disk or a removable USB flash drive. This is extremely attractive to organizations seeking to store unstructured data, especially rich media such as video, digital cinema, and audio. Plus, the high data transfer rates and massive capacities make LTO tape amazingly efficient.

As provided by the LTO Consortium, other benefits of LTO with LTFS (LTO-5 and LTO-6) include:
• Open Specification
• Portability
• Ease of Use
• Multi-Platform Support
• Reliability and Robustness

In the end, LTO is the very best solution for the 69 percent of data that doesn't have to be accessed immediately. It's cost-effectiveness and reliability make it a surefire winner for 30 plus years of storage.

The secret to developing a cost-effective big data environment is to carefully outline your organization's true needs. Define which data needs to be stored on disk and develop a plan for the long-term storage of data that can be kept offline.

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