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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