Eurotech—‘Enterprise-level tape is alive and well’

Network attached tape solutions from Crossroads and HP assure high reliability petabye capacity.

While entry level tape has practically disappeared, enterprise tape is doing fine as reliability, capacity and bandwidth continue to improve. Eurotech’s Bernie Boyce offers this state-of-the-art snapshot.

The latest IBM TS1140 Magstar tape drive is being adopted by seismic contractors, datacenters and transcription companies. Magstar JC cartridges have a 4TB native capacity and are backward compatible with the well established 3592-E05. Also of interest is the new LTO6 solution with a 2.5TB native capacity. Both offer the ‘Linear tape file system.’ LTFS-based NAS* tape appliances add extra smarts like a non-proprietary file-based format, online, long term low energy storage, data protection, reporting and security. Another interesting development is the Crossroad’s StrongBox, an easy-to-deploy tape-based NAS appliance.

Eurotech recently installed a StrongBox for a non oil and gas client to automate project document capture, storage and access. The solution leverages DocuProtection’s secure DMS that collects all relevant files and documentation into a single project container.

HP is also on the LTO6 bandwagon with its StoreEver portfolio. Moving from a ‘fragmented’ approach to data retention to a ‘converged’ data center reduces cost and complexity. However, convergence mandates a ‘comprehensive approach’ to data protection. HP’s David Scott observed, ‘Tape is experiencing a resurgence as companies struggle with big data archives and retention issues. StoreEver provides up to 44 petabytes per system, while removable media makes for virtually limitless capacity. Also LTO6 cartridges offer a shelf life of up to 30 years.’ HP puts LTO6 costs at 2.5 cents per gigabyte. A 2010 study by the Clipper Group concluded that ‘energy costs alone of disk-based systems exceeds the total cost of the average tape-based solution.’ More from Eurotech and HP.
* network attached storage.

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