Data Protection’s Future is Bright

The state of affairs for data protection is doing well today and the future outlook is impressive. In this BlogBytes, we will review what experts are saying about data protection strategies, the role that tape plays in these strategies and the outlook for tape technology in the future – put on your shades because it’s going to be bright!

Experts Make it Clear

Tape storage is a strategic discussion topic for small, medium and large organizations concerned about managing tight budgets and protecting digital assets. In a SearchDataBackup article, Brian Posey discusses data protection strategies stating, “Tapes are also a good choice for organizations that need to ensure the security and integrity of their data backups. As previously noted, tapes can be stored offline, thus preventing ransomware from being able to attack backups.”

He goes on to highlight, “…there are other security advantages. Tape encryption has been supported since the release of the LTO-4 standard. Perhaps more importantly, LTO-3 brought us the ability to treat tapes as write-once, read-many media. Collectively, an organization can use these capabilities to ensure that a tape cannot be overwritten and that an unauthorized person cannot read its contents.”

In a related article, several industry experts share their thoughts, including the Tape Storage Council noting, “the role tape serves in today’s modern data centers is quickly expanding into new markets because compelling technological advancements have made tape the most economical, highest capacity and most reliable storage medium available.”

The Broadcast Bridge also announced that “The automation and retrieval of long term archival content from LTO-8 devices enables clients to retrieve content overnight and have it ready to go for the next working day: Efficient, fast and on site. This we believe is still the fastest way of working today, especially with tighter budgets and faster turnaround times.”

Tape usage as an active archive and long-term preservation repository is on the rise. A press release by the LTO Program earlier this year noted that the Annual Tape Shipment report showed a record 108,457 petabytes (PB) of total tape capacity (compressed) shipped in 2017 –  an increase of 12.9 percent over the previous year!

Put on Your Shades

In late 2017, an ecnmag.com article reported that research scientists achieved a new world record in tape storage: “the new record of 201 Gb/in2 (gigabits per square inch) in areal density was achieved on a prototype sputtered magnetic tape.  This new record areal recording density is more than 20 times the areal density used in current state of the art commercial tape drives and enables the potential to record up to about 330 terabytes (TB) of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge…”

The LTO Ultrium Technology Roadmap, which is designed to address data preservation of the future, shows that by LTO generation-12 tape capacity is expected to reach a whopping 480TB per cartridge of compressed data!

The expert views, tape capacity shipments, impressive density achievement and technology roadmap demonstrate that the outlook for tape storage is outstanding and positions tape technology as the ultimate storage medium for low-cost, long-term, data protection. Learn more about LTO-8 technology here.