“How much is that storage in the window?”

Dog with glasses

How Much is that Storage in the Window?

Storage managers, like the rest of us, are always concerned about how much things cost. It’s a big concern as they’re managing huge volumes of data on a tight budget. There are many things to consider when thinking about overall costs, but the most important is the cost of the storage medium itself.

So, today we’re announcing that at less than a penny per gigabyte, an LTO-6 cartridge can be a storage manager’s best investment. This announcement is based on a recent study of average market prices for an LTO-6 cartridge.1

Think about it. That’s only $8 per terabyte! That can help reduce storage costs and help manage a tight budget.


But Wait, There’s More…Tape Wins the Archive Battle

According to a report by the Clipper Group2 which compares the overall costs of back-end storage on high-capacity SATA/SAS disks and LTO tape for holding archived data, the average disk-based solution costs 26 times more than the average tape-based solution.

money tree

Money Grows on Trees!

That’s not all… The cost of energy alone for the average disk-based solution exceeds the entire total cost of ownership for the average tape-based solution. Energy for tape costs about $47K over the nine-year study, while disk energy costs were about $4.9M. That’s about 105 times more for energy than the tape system! On top of all of this, the disk system required about four times the floor space of the tape system. Who said money doesn’t grow on trees?


Cost and Scalability are #1 and #2

In a recent SearchDataBackup survey, storage managers said that when they are shopping for backup technology, the most important purchase criteria was cost followed by scalability. Let’s explore scalability amid a very low cost.


Scale Tape with Infinite Capacity

How does a tape system scale? First and foremost, to increase capacity with tape a user does not need to add more drives like they would with a disk system or potentially construct a complex server cluster to act as a storage pool. With tape, the user can simply add more tape cartridges! And remember: it’s less than a penny per gigabyte,1 which becomes a very attractive proposition. If you’re simply adding tape, you have infinite capacity at low cost.

Users can also scale capacity with tape libraries by adding more slots or frames to hold more cartridges for near line accessibility. In many cases, you can simply upgrade to the current LTO generation with higher capacity to scale without having to add slots or frames. (An LTO-6 tape drive has up to 6.25TB per cartridge and up to 400MB per second data transfer rate compressed as shown at the LTO Roadmap). Nearly four LTO-4 cartridges will fit on one LTO-6 cartridge. That’s a great space and cost saver!


I Don’t Cost Much!

So, how much is that storage in the window? Not much at all if it’s LTO tape.


1Based on an estimated average price for an LTO-6 data cartridge of $50 USD with compressed data as of January 2015.

2The Clipper Group: Revisiting the Search for Long-Term Storage – A TCO Analysis of Tape and Disk, Report #TCG2013009LU