New Year’s Resolution – Control Costs

The beginning of the New Year is often filled with anticipation and hopeful wishes, with resolutions ranging from changing unwanted habits to pursuing health and financial goals. The resolutions for a business are similar and can be the catalyst to prosperous fulfillment. Based in part on the Top Ten LTO BlogBytes of the Year 2016 and with input from customers and business partners, this BlogBytes post will examine New Year’s goals of managing torrents of data and controlling escalating storage costs. The New Year is a great time to refocus on these important matters.

There’s a Lot of Data!

Every day, millions of calls are being made, text messages sent, data uploaded and downloaded on over one billion cellphones worldwide. That doesn’t include the millions of computerized sensors found in appliances, cars, athletic training equipment, cameras, utilities, TVs and more. In addition, zettabytes of data and content created in business transactions and rich media applications need to be captured and safely stored for operational, analytical and compliance purposes.

Make Mine a Hybrid

Data center managers are focusing on a hybrid of storage devices to manage the avalanche of data for initial storage, backup and archive in order to address performance, preservation and cost control. Some companies have been complimenting this hybrid strategy with the use of internal and external cloud service provisions. Tape storage has been a cornerstone in the combination of devices for backup, data protection and cost reduction because tape provides the lowest cost form of digital storage while addressing data security against cyber-attacks and other data disasters. Lowering costs and safeguarding data preservation are important reasons that have led a number of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to utilize tape technology as a valuable component in the CSP storage stratagem [1]. Below details how one CSP utilizes LTO technology to help its clients control costs and safely store valuable data content.

Art Museum Challenged with Petabytes of Content

Arkivum is a UK-based company that provides big data preservation and archiving solutions to a variety of organizations including: higher education, healthcare, life sciences and more. Data is archived and retained on LTO tape libraries using the LTFS format, which provides an open tape format for ease of use and portability. This is particularly important in the event that a client needs to move data to another location, partner or supplier. The New York Museum of Modern Art deployed an Arkivum solution to preserve and make accessible 6.2 petabytes of valuable audio-visual artwork [2].

Content Secured and Costs Controlled

The museum’s hybrid implementation includes a multi-terabyte hard drive cache and an LTO tape library for long-term data preservation and cost control. The system and its data are duplicated in a different museum data center for disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity. A third copy of the tape data is stored offline at another location helping to address DR best practices [3]. What helps make the redundant storage possible is the low cost of tape.

LTO-7 tape has been shown to only cost about 2 cents per gigabyte[4].   With compressible data at up to 15 terabytes per cartridge the cost is less than 1 cent per GB to help manage the onslaught of data [5].  A system with a significant tape-based storage layer can be more financially sustainable than a disk only or cloud only storage system.

As data ages and gets cold, it needs be on the least expensive and highly reliable archive storage technology – tape! Tape is an essential part of the storage equation for controlling costs and safely preserving data for in-house applications as well as for data stored in the cloud.  With the help of LTO technology, your business can achieve its New Year’s resolutions.

[1] Peters, M. “The Value of Tape in the Cloud”, ESG Video Blog, January 18, 2012
[2] Arkivum, “Case Study / The Museum of Modern Art is digitizing and preserving 6.2 PB of audio-visual artworks”, Arkivum Case Study 2015
[3] Beech, D. “The Evolving Role of Disk and Tape in the Data Center”, Sylvatica Whitepaper, 2009
[4] Coughlin, T. “The Costs of Storage”,, July 24, 2016
[5] Less than one cent per GB (with compression) based on LTO-7 tape average internet retail prices (USD) February 4 2017.