Sony Announces New High Density Tape Technology

  • Interesting & does sound promising with the technology, but the only thing that goes through my head is will it last, (sarcasm) since we are in a complete digital world with Clouds everywhere. (/sarcasm) They did good with Blu-Ray, but I still remember Beta, Memory Sticks, & Minidisc/UMDs. Best comment below the article: i can't imagine REWINDING 185 TB of data... all I see is some guy with a pencil broken weeping openly.

  • Big enterprises with offsite data still do this everywhere. When you take hundreds of TB offsite daily, you can't do it even with a 10Gb/s connection. You need a truck loaded with tapes to make it work. It will be many years before Iron Mountain trucks stop picking up massive boxes of tapes every day.

  • I see your point, I can see this being of more use to bigger enterprises like you said. I was just thinking along the lines of personal and smaller business use, didn't even think about the big boys & their big data. I get the idea of using a tape, but is the tape format a better method of storing data or thought of as just another method? I've never had to use tapes outside of those mentioned before like audio, mini/UMD, beta, VHS, so my interest is piqued.

  • @J1MM3RT I'm not fan of tapes, they are a huge pain, but if you need massive data retention they are really hard to beat. The cost per TB is very low and you can easily store many versions of the same files in multiple locations. And enterprise tapes are very fast, they move much faster than a small hard drive array for streaming writes (obviously they suck hard at random writes) and so for backup streams they are crazy efficient and can even go in parallel for RAID-like write efficiency gains. Most tapes have hardware compression built in that often gets 2:1 data compression because it uses a completely different compression mechanism than the system does and they can be easily encrypted.

    It all comes down to volume and how you want your data stored. If you want to keep data for seven years, disks are going to get expensive. If you have big deltas, disk are expensive. If you need offsite storage, disks are expensive. So tapes still have a lot of places where they are useful. What isn't useful is short term retention of moderate amounts of data with quick retrieval. Tapes are about disaster recovery - what to do when your shop has burnt down. They are not protection against someone who deleted a file yesterday and needs it back. These days some small shops use only disk to disk backup and large ones use disk to disk to tape, but no one skips the disk to disk part anymore because everyone wants the rapid, intermediary file level recovery that can be automated for self service.

  • Thanks that helped, I had an idea but much info. So no matter what the standard will always be disk to disk unless something revolutionary comes out to change that, with tapes being thrown to the side as a complete Disaster Recovery backup? I know the question is kind of reiterating what you said to me but it sometimes helps me understand. Quite interesting that they can be used similar to a RAID, but i know I'll be steering clear of them since we have no use for them here.

  • Pretty much if you are not buying big robots to handle your tape autoloaders, you are too small to be dealing with tapes 🙂

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