IBM has officially announced it’s proprietary General Parallel File System (GPFS) will soon easily write files to tape on cartridges through an enterprise edition of LTFS. It will be referred to as “Big Blue’s Linear Tape File System.”
As we’ve shared numerous times, LTFS allows for files to be stored in a defined location within a tape. This allows for data to be placed in folders and retrieved with ease. LTFS is currently available on LTO-5, LTO-6, and TS1140 tape.
IBM is currently developing an LTFS EE (Enterprise Edition) that offers a clear and defined link between GPFS and LTFS. There are numerous benefits to this, but the most important one is that when you put an LTFS tape in a tape library, it will be possible to import it with LTFS EE commands. The data will then show up within the GPFS filesystem.
This is possible because LTFS EE will utilize a hidden GPFS filesystem to map all data from LTFS to GPFS.
This finally offers a way for bulk GPFS data that is rarely accessed (but needs to be retained for years to come) to be stored in a cost-effective manner. In other words, storing this data offline on tape is much less expensive than utilizing disk space.
Storing Tier 2 and Tier 3 data on tape is especially ideal in today’s world, where data storage environments are growing faster than ever.
Want to learn more about LTO tape, LTFS, and other related topics? Drop us a call or an e-mail, and we’ll be happy to help!
We work with organizations of all shapes and sizes to help then create and maintain robust, cost-effective data storage environments.
This especially includes the use of tape, thanks to the advancements of the LTO consortium — which includes IBM.
We’ll keep you updated as more details within the industry emerge!
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Magnetic tape happens to be one of the oldest and most reliable recording technologies ever created. It uses a spool of linearly oriented tape that is composed of several layers, including a magnetic layer, that passes under a read-write head to record binary bit info into tracks.
As time has progressed, tape cartridges have improved by leaps and bounds. Newest versions, such as the LTO-6 can be used much like disks. Data can be written and retrieved faster than ever.
Another key discovery was IBM and Fujifim’s discovery and use of barium ferrite (BaFe). It is a relatively new tape media coating technology and magnetic particle that lends to tape’s reliability, stability, and efficiency.
While there are several types of tape available, LTO tape is quickly emerging as the leader of the pack. Small, medium, and semi-large organizations are continuing to adopt LTO for data archiving and more.
According to Fujifilm, the past 12 years have seen more than 4 million LTO tape drives and nearly 200 million cartridges shipped. The LTO-6 boasts of 6.25 TB of compressed capacity and an impressive transfer rate of 400 MB/sec.
Beyond LTO tape, other popular tape formats include Oracle’s Sun/STK tape drive and cartridge (for huge organizations), the T10000C (which is much faster than LTO tape and hold quite a bit more data), and IBM’s TS1140 (which rivals Oracle’s Sun/STK in both speed and cost).
Why Tape is Not Dead
Tape isn’t dead for a number of very relevant reasons:
1. It is cost-effective. Disk only solutions tend to be much more expensive.
2. It is reliable. Tape is the most data storage medium on the market.
3. It lasts for 30 years and more. When stored in a stable environment, you can be sure that tape will last for decades.
4. It can’t be hacked. Disks can be hacked and are susceptible to bugs, while tape is stored offline and can’t be touched — unless of course a tape gets into the wrong hands.
5. Tape is recyclable.
Experts are still predicting that tape will play a much larger role in the near future. Organizations are learning the hard way that data can be wiped from disks and lost from the cloud. Backing up data on tape is a must.
Want to learn more about tape? Drop as an e-mail with your questions and we’ll answer!
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Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is one of the saviors of tape media. In fact, it is responsible for pushing tape capacity to entirely new, unprecedented levels.
Fujifilm is the very first media manufacturer that decided to invest in the particle, rather than sticking with the traditional metal particles that have been used for years.
BaFe is amazing for numerous reasons, including the following:
• It’s a naturally stable crystalline particle that never corrodes.
• It doesn’t change chemically over time.
• It consists of ultra-fine particles with higher magnetic properties than metal.
• It allows for high density recording.
This is why Fujifilm’s LTO-6 has been noted as stable, relatable, and robust.
When you compare a standard 3.5” HDD, with an areal density that is approaching 600 Gb/inch-squared, tape densities aren’t nearly as “crowded.” In other words, tape has plenty of room to grow, especially with the help of the BaFe particle.
Beyond capacity, there is another major reason Fujifilm decided to invest in BaFe technology. The company has long understood the limitations of Metal Particulate (MP). Because MP is primarily made of iron, over time oxidation and deterioration occurs.
While previous versions of LTO (LTO-1 to LTO-5) are very stable (and if stored in a stable environment will last for 30 years or more), the LTO-6 ups the ante big time.
Extensive testing has also found BeFe to significantly decrease noise and increase the tape signal. Thus, it can be said that BeFe is contributing to greater levels of efficiency.
It’s safe to say that Fujifilm’s breakthrough means a much greater future for LTO tape. It, along with other breakthroughs including LTFS, will lead to tape playing a much greater role in the storage of all types of data.
Stay tuned to learn more about BaFe and other technologies that are reshaping the way we understand data storage.
Wondering if tape is still a viable choice today’s modern data center? According to experts in the data storage industry, tape is expanding its role far beyond supporting active archives, compliance, and data preservation.
The following are six reasons why LTO tape is growing in popularity:
1. High Multi-TB Capacity
Tape continues to grow its capacity to new heights. For example, each LTO-6 tape offers a whopping 6.25 TB of storage space. This makes tape highly cost-efficient and the perfect choice for housing massive data sets.
2. High Speed Transfer Rates
Once upon a time, tape’s transfer rates were very slow. This limited tape primarily to long-term archives of data that wouldn’t be needed unless a data emergency arose. Currently, the LTO-6 offers up to 400 MB/second. Reading and writing data is quick, easy, and effortless.
3. Linear Tape File System (LTFS)
The new and improved LTO tape filing system, known as Linear Tape File System (LTFS), allows for data to be stored and retrieved in a similar fashion as a disk drive. Gone are the days in which data would be extremely hard to locate.
4. Superior Reliability with Lowest Error Rates
Tape is without a doubt one of the most reliable forms of data storage. While disk can be easily corrupted, hacked, and even fail, tape is more secure than ever. It’s offline nature assures organizations that their data will be safe and sound for 30 years and more.
5. Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
Tape is highly cost effective. Not only is disk storage expensive from an equipment standpoint, it is also extremely expensive to maintain. By offloading some data to tape (rather than only relying on disk), organizations are lowering their data storage costs and making them more efficient.
6. Portability and Scalability
The beauty of tape is that it can be easily moved from place to place and tape libraries are easy to scale out. Where disk can be quite fickle when it comes to portability, tape is amazingly easy. Once data is written to a tape, you can be quite certain the data will be safe and sound, even if a tape (or many tapes) are moved from one location to another.
7. Tape is Recyclable
Data tape media recycling when using a reputable vendor is safe, secure, highly auditable and helps you to recoup your initial expense. Most common form of payment is cash but many IT departments for accounting purposes don't like to show income so we offer credit for new IT products and services.
Big Data Supply, Inc. is always buying excess new and used data tape media tape cartridges. All brands and all formats. Turn your excess inventory of new and used data tapes and we’ll give you cash or credit. The old practice of paying to shred your out of archive data tape media are a thing of the past. Not only is it expensive to shred your unwanted tape it's terrible for the environment and it's not a very auditable process. We offer full chain-of-custody, VolSer and serial number reporting and certificates of data destruction.
Have questions about tape? We’d love to help you out. Please e-mail or call us, and we’ll make sure you find the very best data storage solution to fit your needs.
Because of the advent of the Cloud and the popularity of disk for data storage, LTO tape has at times been overlooked and underestimated.
The following some leading LTO tape myths:
1. Tape Is Dead
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Tape is alive and thriving. This has much to do with the fact that tape a tape-only data structure infrastructure is very expensive and can be unstable. Also, the Cloud is still new territory that comes with some risk.
Tape isn’t dead for several reasons, but mainly because it provides a very stable medium for daily data backups. A growing number of organizations have realized the hard way what happens when disks fail them.
2. You Can’t Use LTO Tape Like a Hard Drive
The newest versions of LTO, the LTO-5 and LTO-6 have LTFS. This makes tape look like and work like a hard drive, which speeds up the process of saving, finding, and retrieving data.
It is true, however, that earlier versions of LTO tape don’t have this capability. This doesn’t make earlier tape cartridges ineffective. They still are amazingly stable and can be stored for 30 years and more.
3. Tape Is Going to Die Off in the Near Future
This is a big myth. The LTO Consortium actually has big plans, as it seeks to develop tapes with massive amounts of storage space. As energy prices continue to rise and organization’s data sets rise exponentially, the consortium intends to create new generations of tapes that will hold gargantuan amounts of data and boast of lightening-fast data transfer speeds.
Beyond the above three myths, it is important to reveal a handful of other truths:
- LTO holds even more value because it can be recycled.
- Plus, organizations can sell used tape and regain some of their initial investment.
- Stability makes it ideal for assuring that industry regulations for data storage are met.
Looking to buy new or used tape? We can help! Please either call or email our team, and we’ll help you gain access to the best pricing on the market.
We can also answer any questions you may have about tape.
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Is your organization seeing massive increases in data creation, while being challenged to meet specific data compliance rules? Regardless if you must adhere to the regulations of HIPAA, FACTA, Sarbanes-Oxley, SOX, or any others, it can be a major challenge to build up the right infrastructure, policies and procedures to comply.
As revealed by major organizations such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook, anything can go wrong -- at any time. There can be anything from security breaches, to bugs, to system failures. This is why a reported 80 percent of organizations make use of a combination of disk and tape.
Just when many “experts” in the data storage industry were raving about disk and/or the cloud being the end-all-be-all -- LTO magnetic data media has come to the rescue.
1. LTO tape is stable and can be stored for 30-plus years.
2. The latest versions of LTO hold massive amounts of data -- so it’s very cost-effective.
3. ZERO energy cost to archive data offline.
4. Disk’s online nature makes susceptible to hackers, bugs, viruses, and more.
5. When disk comes crashing down, LTO backups save the day.
6. Tape can be recycled and reused.
Using magnetic data media along side disk, is a perfect scenario. Data that needs to be constantly and quickly accessed can be stored on disk. LTO data media can be used for continuous backups. Thus, if anything goes wrong, data can be recovered in a timely manner.
When considering data compliance, tape provides 100 percent assurance that an organizations most important data is always secure. The fact that data can completely be expunged via degaussing, also makes tape valuable where compliance is concerned.
Have questions about industry compliance and your data storage setup? We would love to help. Give us a call and we can help point you in the right direction.
Have tape and data center equipment that you want to get rid of? We buy used tape cartridges, disk array, tape libraries, and more.
Contact us today: [email protected] | Toll Free 800-905-7329 | Local 949-679-6633
It’s no secret that the data storage needs of organizations all over the globe are growing by leaps and bounds. This means that it is vital that long-term content archival and data preservation must be at the heart of organizational strategy.
To help you make the right decisions surrounding your data storage needs, we’ve compiled a handful of tips:
1. Consider LTO Tape for Storing Massive Amounts of Data
If you aren’t already aware, the LTO Consortium is continuing to impress with its newest versions of LTO tape cartridges. For instance, LTO-6 (the latest release) can store 2.5 TB on a single cartridge and boasts of a data transfer speed of 160 MBps. It also makes use of the LTFS (Linear Tape File System) for easy management of files. LTO and other tape formats are also recyclable, we buy used data tape cartridges.
2. Educate Yourself on AXF
AXF is a wrapper for a storage object. It works in a very similar manner as LTFS, allowing for files to be grouped together as they would within a file system. The coolest part of AXF is that it works with any storage technology. This means that if you’re using LTO-4, which doesn’t include LTFS, you can still easily organize data for easy retrieval.
3. Think Compatibility
One of the biggest mistakes organizations have made over the years is utilizing numerous different data storage formats and types rather than adopting standardized practices. For example, it’s quite common for one department to use one solution and another to use a completely different one.
Inevitably, at one point down the road organizations decide they want to standardize practices. This means that all data must be migrated, re-cataloged, and more -- which can be very expensive and time consuming.
4. Get the Right Technology Partners
The data storage industry is vast and quite complex.Whenever you invest in a new technology, you have just created a long lasting partnership. You’ll find yourself investing staff, time, and money into setting things up and maintaining your infrastructure as the years progress.
Make sure you invest in technologies and services that will support your needs in the future. One of the reasons we suggest LTO tape as an excellent choice for long-term archival goes far beyond its stability and ability to support massive amounts of data. We are also confident that the LTO Consortium (the organizing body behind LTO tape) will stand behind the product for years to come.
Have questions about data storage? We’d love to answer them! Drop us an e-mail or phone call, and we’ll help you get moving in the right direction.
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The Economist recently detailed how tape (a 60-year-old technology) offers a solution to a modern problem. The problem being -- storing large amounts of data for less money and with ultimate efficiency. LTO Tape to the rescue!
According to the article, tape is currently the oldest computer storage medium that is still in use. The very first use of tape was on the UNIVAC computer in 1951. While tape saw a decrease in popularity by 14 percent in 2012, statistics show that its currently on the rise.
The reason? Alberto Pace of CERN (a customer of ours) suggests there are four main reasons:
1. Due to the latest advancements in tape, data can be retrieved quickly -- even faster than some hard disks.
2. Tape is reliable. Tape can be stored for 30 years and more and still be utilized. And if it snaps, it is possible to splice it back together. Offline storage also keeps tape from being corrupted or hacked.
3. No power needed to preserve data. Tape can be stored off-line, whereas disk relies on power for anything to occur. If the power goes off and a disk ceases to operate, data isn’t available. Plus, as mentioned above, disk can be compromised by hackers.
4. Tape is cheaper - plain and simple. You get more bang for your buck with tape, not to mention it lasts longer than disk.
While tape offers multiple benefits, it must be mentioned that it isn’t the end-all for the majority or organizations. “It forms a crucial part of storage hierarchy,” says Evangelos Eleftheriou of IBM.
There is “hot data” that must be made available for immediate access. This data can be stored within flash memory. “Lukewarm data” is data that is accessed frequently, but not instantly. Disk is commonly used in this case. And finally, there is “cold data” or data that is rarely accessed. This is where tape comes into play.
Finding the perfect balance within you data storage environment is the key to your success. A growing number of individuals and organizations are waking up to the true benefit of tape for long-term storage.
Regardless of what you may have thought: Tape is alive and well going into 2014!
Big Data Supply, Inc. "Buying and Supplying the Data Center" ...We purchase excess new and used data tape media cartridges, tape drives, libraries, hardware.
Contact us via e-mail or phone, and we’ll help you invest in the very best technologies available.
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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!
There are numerous tape doubters out in the world, especially proponents of disk-only storage. However, recent reports have revealed that the use of tape is on the rise -- especially within medium to large organizations.
The perfect example of a major organization utilizing tape to assure that massive amounts of data are secure for years to come is Google. The organization understands the power of LTO and the continual improvements that are expected in the coming months and years.
For instance, according to to a recent IBM report, the brand will be making a near 40-times improvement on its current LTO-6 technology. The truth of the matter is that disk isn’t making nearly as many leaps forward as tape is making at the present moment.
Technology expert Chris Mellor suggest that tape is the very best method for longterm storage for the following reasons:
1. Tape is the only method that can keep up with the massive amounts of customer transactions, images, music, videos, and other popular forms of data being archived today.
2. It’s cost-effectiveness makes it an excellent form of storage after data stored on disk loses its importance.
3. Tape is durable and its off-line nature offers ultimate data security.
While LTO-6’s capacity is already off the charts, LTO-7 will provide 6.4 TB of raw capacity -- and the LTO consortium is already talking about LTO-8, LTO-9, and even LTO-10!
This is why Google and other leading organizations are investing heavily in LTO technologies for data backups. Google in particular has been saved by its use of tape when thousands of mail accounts have gone missing. Without offline archives via tape, there would already have been hundreds of thousands of unhappy Google customers.
Instead of technology experts suggesting that tape is near dead, they are suggesting that DAT’s future may be fading. At the rate its going, LTO will one day boast of 102TB of capacity. This capacity level would most likely be seen in around 2025.
Looking to learn more about tape? We would love to answer your questions. At Big Data Supply, we offer new and used tape, tape drives, and more.
You can also sell tape and take advantage of our recycling program.
Call or e-mail us for more information.