Why LTO Tape Storage will be Important in the Zettabyte Era

In this BlogBytes we will discuss the increasing data growth projections, explain how you can safeguard your valuable information and how to do it cost effectively with help from LTO technology.

An IDC White Paper, sponsored by LTO Consortium“Tape and Cloud: Solving Storage Problems in the Zettabyte Era of Data”, July 2019, revealed that corporate data is estimated to continue its astronomical growth at an astounding compound rate of 40-50% annually. As storage managers prepare for the zettabyte era of data storage, they will need solutions to meet their organization’s growing needs for high-capacity and secure storage. In this BlogBytes we will discuss the increasing data growth projections, explain how you can safeguard your valuable information and how to do it cost effectively with help from LTO technology.


The Zettabyte Era


According to IDC “IT organizations can expect to deal with approximately 7.5ZB of data by 2025, up from 2.6ZB in 2018.” Interestingly, the bulk of this data growth, between 80-90% of it, will be in the form of unstructured data. As noted at technopedia.com, unstructured data “… represents any data that does not have a recognizable structure. It is unorganized and raw and can be non-textual or textual. For example, email is a fine illustration of unstructured textual data.”




Unstructured data is usually text laden and can include information such as figures, dates, and social media. This type of data is important to an organization’s operations so that they can examine and evaluate it for marketing and customer relationship management purposes in order to help maintain a strategic competitive edge.  The preservation and protection of unstructured information then becomes an essential undertaking.


The Threat to Unstructured Data


Ransomware exploits the connectedness of cloud and disk but criminals can’t attack data on tape


In the paper IDC explains that “Ransomware attackers succeed only when they can destroy all means of self-recovery. Once an organization is hijacked of its ability to recover its own data, then cybercriminals are able to extort maximum ransom. As unstructured data becomes more valuable, it is consistently a target of theft and malware attacks, such as ransomware and distributed denial of service (DDoS).” A DDoS is a cyberattack where the culprit tries to make a device or network resource inaccessible. IDC emphasized, “It is imperative to keep an archival copy of data offline, creating an ‘air gap’ to protect it against the threat of cyberattacks.” Continue reading to learn about LTO technology’s inherent air gap and its role in protecting data against ransomware.


Full-Proof Protection with LTO Tape’s Air Gap


Organizations can use replication technologies that include mirrors and snapshots to help protect against system failures, but the data is still susceptible to corruption and destruction by malware, hackers and disgruntled employees. IDC points out that “IT organizations often chase a fully automated data protection scheme through replication technologies … [but] they must also ensure data corruption or ransomware is prevented by creating an air gap — a break in the data stream. Tape technology … natively introduces an air gap and does so cost effectively, ensuring there is always a recoverable master copy of data.”


Use LTO tape to create an air gap for your all-important backup and archive data


An air gap is created when a tape cartridge is removed from the tape drive. Once it has been removed, there is no longer a connection to the data on the tape, thus preventing systems, hackers and malware from accessing it. In the event online data is hacked, destroyed or held for ransom, the offline tape can be utilized to quickly restore the data with transfer rates of up to 750 MB per second. In addition, LTO tape has been shown to offer one of the lowest-costs of digital storage when compared to disk and cloud.


The Value of LTO Tape


The ‘Zettabyte Era’ requires organizations to be vigilant in protecting the massive amounts of information needed to remain competitive while doing it cost effectively. LTO technology is a vital element in that equation!