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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday April 19, @05:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the as-opposed-to-non-linear-tape? dept.

The Linear Tape-Open market is stable:

The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs)—Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum—today released their annual tape media shipment report, detailing quarterly and year-over-year shipments.

The report shows a record 96,000 petabytes (PB) of total compressed tape capacity shipped in 2016, an increase of 26.1 percent over the previous year. Greater LTO-7 tape technology density as well as the continuous growth in LTO-6 tape technology shipments were key contributors to this increase.

[...] While the total compressed tape capacity grew dramatically in 2016, the total volume of tape cartridges shipped in 2016 remained flat over the previous year whereas hard disk drives (HDD) saw a decrease in unit sales of approximately 9.5 percent year-over-year2. This stability in tape cartridge shipments indicates that customers continue to rely on low-cost, high-density tape as part of their current data protection and retention strategies and evolving tape technologies are becoming attractive to new areas of the market.

"Compressed tape capacity" is a nonsense number that multiplies the "raw" capacity by a compression ratio. Assuming that only LTO-6 and LTO-7 tapes were sold (which have a 2.5:1 compression ratio rather than the 2:1 of earlier generations), then 38,400 PB or 38.4 exabytes were shipped.

LTO-6 tapes store 2.5 TB and LTO-7 tapes store 6 TB. Planned LTO-8 tapes will store 12.8 TB, LTO-9 will store 26 TB, and LTO-10 will store 48 TB. The max uncompressed speed of these generations will be 160, 300, 427, 708, and 1100 MB/s respectively.


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  • (Score: 1) by Sourcery42 on Wednesday April 19, @06:03PM (25 children)

    by Sourcery42 (6400) on Wednesday April 19, @06:03PM (#496453)

    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday April 19, @06:12PM (21 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday April 19, @06:12PM (#496459) Journal

      Both Samsung and SanDisk have 256 GB MicroSD cards. I'm sure a lot more than 24 of those could fit in the volume of an LTO-7 tape. By the time LTO-10 comes out, the 2 TB barrier for both full size SD and MicroSD will have been long broken.

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Wednesday April 19, @06:23PM (12 children)

        by EvilSS (1456) on Wednesday April 19, @06:23PM (#496469)
        I'm envisioning a giant library with a robot arm with tiny little grippers to swap microSD cards instead of tapes...

        Of course they are so tiny the could be lost. Maybe it could also put them in plastic eggs for transport.
        • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Wednesday April 19, @06:46PM (2 children)

          by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Wednesday April 19, @06:46PM (#496484)

          That is actually a really good idea. You might want to print your comment, flesh it out with some extra notes about how you think it would work then get it notarized. May not be as good as a patent but it would show you published the idea first and might at least be able to get some credit for it.

          I've seen tape changers made out of legos. What you describe wouldn't be that far off the basic design, though the gripper for the microSD cards would likely have to built out something other than legos due to the size of the card.

          --
          "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snow on Wednesday April 19, @06:54PM (1 child)

            by Snow (1601) on Wednesday April 19, @06:54PM (#496487) Journal

            Just add the electrical contacts to the arm, then the arm can just sit on the sd card, while the sd card remains fixed in place.

            Although, I gotta say, I REALLY like the egg idea. And the eggs should be just piled up at random, with a robotic claw dangling from the top.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday April 19, @08:47PM (8 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @08:47PM (#496540)

          When I was just a kid starting out the "major financial services company" I worked for had 10, 20, 30 thousand tapes of financial records but only I believe four of the half million dollar fridge sized tape drives, so it was financially viable to fire the tape ops, sell two of the tape drives and install a $10M (or whatever it was) tape robot to keep the drives busy.

          Anyway the point was the tapes were "cheap" and the drives were "expensive" so they went to insane lengths to move tapes in and out of drives.

          The problem with SDXC cards is the cheapest reader I can find on Amazon is $6 which means I could buy a shipping crate of a million of them for $3 whereas the cheapest SDXC amazon offers at 128G level is around $80. So theres no point in storing "cheap" $80 cards offline to save the purchase of "expensive" $3 readers.

          Really I'm merely justifying how bad I want to set up a striped mirrored ZFS pool across a couple thousand USB3 connected flash cards.

          It is interesting to think about that a couple years back I set up my dual mirrored 256G desktops (left and right) on my work desk at home and I've been loving feeebsd ZFS for some years on that, but now I can get 256G flash memory for a mere $200 each. I could replace those desktops with rasp-pi pretty soon, lets say 2019 pi.

          • (Score: 2) by Snow on Wednesday April 19, @09:09PM (1 child)

            by Snow (1601) on Wednesday April 19, @09:09PM (#496553) Journal

            Designing a system with 1,000,000 (or even 1,000) sdxc readers would be non-trivial.

            Although I did find this card that connects to the sata bus: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2016/03/17/turn-10-micro-sd-cards-into-a-sata-ssd-drive/ [the-gadgeteer.com]

            I suppose you could just scale that idea up to a card that holds 100 or more. Then you have a problem with the management/inventory of the individual cards and replacement as they fail. It honestly sounds like a constant pain in the ass.

            Could you imagine walking into a place on your first day, and someone drops a milk crate filled with sd cards on your desk. "Oh, this is our backup solution. Someone found that we could save 30% by using sd cards."

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday April 19, @09:28PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @09:28PM (#496564)

              Well, look at NAS vendors, if you got the cash they'll build anything that can be imagined, even build things that shouldn't be imagined.

              Without the size constraint of drives, you could put thousands of cards in something the size of a dorm fridge. In fact I wouldn't even use cards and slots I'd just solder a couple flash chips to a FPGA and connect the FPGAs in some peculiar manner and write software to route around failing chips, or go board level replacement.

              Its an interesting thought experiment to manufacture a device that stores a petabyte. Thats only 4000 cards, so 40 cards holding 10 x 10 array. With multilayer boards and BGA packaging I bet that each card would be bigger than a business card but smaller than a postcard. A couple dozen could fit in a shoebox?

              For offsite backup each card would hold 25 TB which is 10 LTO-6 tapes. Each card would cost about $10K maybe. Of course you could reuse it and the speed of writing would be limited almost solely to what you could plug it into, imagine writing to 64 cards in parallel with plenty of parity-recovery bits because you got 100 chips on board.

          • (Score: 2) by Scruffy Beard 2 on Wednesday April 19, @10:00PM (3 children)

            by Scruffy Beard 2 (6030) on Wednesday April 19, @10:00PM (#496580)

            Two problems [sdcard.org]:
            The SDXC standard requires the proprietary exFAT filesystem and a modified version of CPRM (with device revocation).

            You can try a non-standard FS like ZFS, but YMMV.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday April 20, @01:28AM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @01:28AM (#496642) Journal

              I've formatted many USB thumb drives and SD-Cards as good old ext4 without a problem.

              The standard controls what is needed to use the word SDXC, not what you actually do with the device.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Thursday April 20, @08:55AM (1 child)

              by EvilSS (1456) on Thursday April 20, @08:55AM (#496762)
              So create a new standard. This solves both of those problems, and allows vendors to create proprietary formats they can sell for way more than an SD card.
          • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Thursday April 20, @08:58AM (1 child)

            by EvilSS (1456) on Thursday April 20, @08:58AM (#496763)
            You still need to be able to catalog and remove them for offsite storage. With that many SD cards I'd trust an automated system over a human to do that work. Plus watching the tech stand there as little plastic eggs fall out a dispenser shoot would be priceless.
            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday April 23, @01:31PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 23, @01:31PM (#498318)

              Presumably there's some ISO/DIN standard for safe deposit box sizes and you'd likely get something that size like an 80s home computer or video game cartridge except this just a bit smaller than a safe deposit box contains hundreds, thousands, maybe 10s of thousands of the flash chips.

              You'd buy your backup devices to fit your rotation plans.

              I would not be surprised to see a standard size picked as per above and depending on how many TB you need, the box contains somewhere between a couple and hundreds of flash chips.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday April 19, @07:03PM

        by sjames (2882) on Wednesday April 19, @07:03PM (#496490) Journal

        And they'll only cost twice as much as the tape and require a robot to swap them.

        Possibly a good option for use at home or a small office, but when you have a lot of data, the tape is better proven, more convenient, and cheaper.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday April 19, @08:37PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @08:37PM (#496532)

        Yes, microSD cards do have a very high data density, however they also cost a lot more I'm pretty sure, in a $/GB sense. The advantage of LTO tape is that it's really cheap for the cartridges, compared to other storage technologies. The disadvantage is that it requires a really, really expensive drive (whereas USB hard drives and SD/microSD cards don't require any special hardware at all usually, as modern computers usually have the needed ports built-in).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @10:07PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @10:07PM (#496587)

        Tape lasts and lasts. I've had about 3 - 5 SD cards fail on me after too many write operations. They don't just backup data and leave it sitting, the tapes get re-used to give you a *current* backup. MTWTF MTWTF and then repeat.

      • (Score: 1) by Roger Murdock on Thursday April 20, @01:02AM (3 children)

        by Roger Murdock (4897) on Thursday April 20, @01:02AM (#496627)

        Sustained write speed for MicroSD cards has a long way to go before it will catch up the 1052 Gb/hour of lto7. I think that's the main reason behind tape's durability in the market.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday April 20, @01:42AM (1 child)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @01:42AM (#496652) Journal

          Write speed can be really fast on tape.

          Read can take forever.

          Back in the late 90s we were backing up to LT? tapes, and had tons of tapes that we cycled religiously.
          Too small of an operation to have a tape-arm. Just a large fireproof safe in another room.
          Numbered slots. Numbered tapes, with digitally numbered headers.

          We virtually never retrieved anything from the tapes. No need.
          But any time we did is was a Chinese fire-drill.
          It was usually from the most recent tape, and that mostly worked.

          The few times we had to really reach back to old tapes they couldn't be read.
          Or they had so many errors it they had to be babysat just to find the files.
          We finally went through the tapes and read checked every on of them and found out any tape older than 18 months had a 50-50 chance of a read error. (And don't get me started on tape drive longevity or interchangeability!)

          Tape sucks.
          In the best of installations tape sucks.
          In the minimalist installations tape sucks.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday April 20, @08:06AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Thursday April 20, @08:06AM (#496751) Journal
          Is that Gb or GB? Assuming GB, that's 300MB/s, which is well within the range of consumer flash chips for linear writes. SD cards tend to have cheaper flash chips, but the more expensive ones will handle that. If it's Gb, then even cheap cards will manage it quite happily.
          --
          sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 1) by DannyB on Wednesday April 19, @07:53PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Wednesday April 19, @07:53PM (#496511)

      Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

      But not so good for low latency applications.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:16PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, @09:16PM (#496556)

        Latency problems? Upgrade to a Bugatti Veyron!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @01:29AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 20, @01:29AM (#496643)

          Good luck finding a station wagon these days...still a few on the USA market, but most of the big car companies serve that market with minivans or suv's now. Which sucks--I like wagons that mostly drive like a normal car...and hold a bit more.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cmn32480 on Wednesday April 19, @06:29PM (11 children)

    by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge <cmn32480NO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday April 19, @06:29PM (#496473) Journal

    As long as you have a decent backup window, tape is convenient and cheap. Particularly in the SMB market, where cost plays a much bigger role than in larger enterprise.

    Autoloaders are relatively cheap if your backups span multiple tapes, they (generally) last YEARS in a decently climate controlled environment, unlike a hard drive, which can be completely hosed by dropping it.

    They can take shipping or hand carry to offsite facilities easily.

    Much like terminal emulation, tape isn't going to die anytime soon.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by ledow on Wednesday April 19, @07:04PM (10 children)

      by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @07:04PM (#496491) Homepage

      £2500 + £30 a 6Gb tape for a basic LTO-6 tape drive (Just googled for a brand I can recognise, that wasn't the cheapest, no autoloader etc.) buys you an awful lot of other things.

      I imagine small shops aren't even bothering at that kind of price. Price is the primary reason I hear people steer clear of tape for backup, even in schools and offices.

      Include autoloaders and rackmounts and you get to £5000-6000 easy.

      Tape quickly becomes quite expensive, per Terabyte. And you're still looking at being down for the day to restore from a tape even if everything works.

      Then you have to consider warranties, repairs, costs of sourcing a replacement in a disaster, backup sites, etc.

      A lot of places are choosing not to do tape now. And tapes aren't as resilient as you make out. Sure, it might survive a fall, but it won't survive any kind of climate change for long, especially rapid change, and it needs a piece of kit that also can't survive that to read it back off.

      Tape has uses, don't get me wrong (offsite and transport, as you point out, but again - you have to have another drive at the other end or move that too, and that's just going to break if you drop it, the same as a hard drive), but if it was a choice between putting £10k on a tape setup for, what, a few dozen TB in total of backups (including daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) - there are much cheaper solutions, with much faster restore times, using much more standard kit, that you can plug into little self-contained portable restore units that are everything you need to copy data back to a network in a little box. Hell, many of them can be mounted via iSCSI and just carry on as you were.

      You can say "it's not as resilient" but the drive has to figure in that too, or payment for someone else to supply a drive on short notice, or costing in multiple drives, etc.

      And if you can get several copies of the network onto cheaper devices, with better MTBF ratings, and in a format that itself can survive failures, and be read off using a standard drive interface or Ethernet, is that a better or worse backup? There's no one right answer to that. But for a lot of people, it works out much better not to use tape.

      Honestly, the *technology* used is irrelevant, so long as you have enough backups of varying types, ages and locations. When there's anything other than tape, it's ALWAYS my last choice to restore from, however.

      I've even recommended to tiny one-server shops who have asked me to help, and that are religiously doing their tape swapping: continue. But I'm going to stick this USB hard drive on here and leave it plugged in. For £50, getting "another backup" that restored in less than half the time of their tapes was a no-brainer for them. And if you have the software and the alert infrastructure, it's no harder than just adding it into the backup job as a copy. Sure, you wouldn't want to rely on JUST that, but alongside other methods it's another +1 for them. And where I've done that, every restore I've ever done has come from that drive. And they can take it off-site, and replace it just as easily as a tape when it goes wrong.

      The place I work for now sacked the previous IT guy for failing to tape backups. The servers failed, the network went down, the data was lost, game over. Literally into the "pay to recover a damaged RAID array" territory, and it cost them a lot.

      They hired me. But they didn't blink at not paying for tape. All the similar places in their industry were doing it. All their auditors picked no fault with it. It was just an expense that they put into different backup solutions and resiliency instead. Remove the dependency on any one technology, device, server, array, drive, etc. - even PERSON - all the way from top to bottom. Tape doesn't need to figure in that to make it robust.

      Last time we were audited, the bought-in expert questioned me for hours on behalf of the insurance company (who were insuring against data loss and cyber attack, etc.). I made grand claims (restore times, number of copies, ability to restore, off-site capabilities) etc. They were shocked. HOW many copies? How frequently? So if I lose a file, you can pull it back in how quick a time? And how many previous revisions? Made how frequently? Going back how far? From how many independent backups? Literally, they were taken aback. So we did it for them. Here you go. There's the backup catalog (also stored in four separate locations, and not even necessary to restore from, it just makes it more convenient). There's the list of everything backed up. Pick something you see on the network. Anything at all. Any server, any storage, any file. Right, there it is in the backups. There are all the copies, backups, replicas, etc. with all the backup history. Pick any one. Okay, restore. There you go, it's back. Pick a VM. Any server you like. There you go, there are its checkpoints and the number of backup devices they are on. Pick one. Let's restore it. Churn, churn, churn. Working VM copy on test system.

      Tape can't really do that. Not to the same extent. You always need something in combination with tape to do that. And when that's the case, the tape is merely incidental.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday April 19, @08:46PM (6 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @08:46PM (#496538)

        Um, this really doesn't make sense. There *are* no cheaper backup solutions, in $/GB, than LTO tape that I'm aware of. You can get portable hard drives pretty cheaply these days with multi-TB capacities, but they're still more expensive per TB than LTO cartridges. You're right that hard-drive based online backups have massive advantages in being able to do continuous snapshots and being able to easily access those backups at any time, but it comes at a cost. If you're backing up really massive amounts of data, requiring hundreds or thousands of cartridges, LTO is the cheapest way to do it; the expense of the drive is a one-time cost, so unless you're only backing up a handful of tapes worth of data, that cost becomes insignificant. So a small business probably has no business bothering with tape, but larger organizations can do backups far more cheaply that way.

        • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Wednesday April 19, @10:04PM (2 children)

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @10:04PM (#496583) Journal

          Um, this really doesn't make sense. There *are* no cheaper backup solutions, in $/GB, than LTO tape that I'm aware of. You can get portable hard drives pretty cheaply these days with multi-TB capacities, but they're still more expensive per TB than LTO cartridges.

          I think that the point was that LTO tape is only cheaper per gigabyte if the tape drives are free, which they are not [newegg.com], and one tape is drive is needed at any site where any backup, verfication, or restore can take place.

          Every hard drive includes not only its magnetic medium, but also the drive needed to read and write that medium anywhere it might be located. Not so with an LTO cartridge.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday April 20, @05:10AM

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @05:10AM (#496704)

            Right, so if you're backing up hundreds of tapes' worth of data, the cost of that drive isn't very significant any more. If you're only backing up a couple tapes' worth, then it definitely is.

          • (Score: 1) by fyngyrz on Sunday April 23, @07:48PM

            by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 23, @07:48PM (#498483) Journal

            The only way you'd get me to use tape backups is if (a) the drives were not expensive, (b) tapes were not expensive, (c) the drive was an awesome reel-to-reel thing that made my office look like a 20th century mad scientist's lair. (c2) I can haz blinkenlights too? (c3) I can haz Switches?

            Otherwise, it's multi-terabyte drives for me. Immediate random-read-access is just the cherry on top.

            I'm not a fan of video and not handling very large amounts of data, so the choice remains open to me.

            Also... just referring back a few posts... seems like there's no actual need for tape drives to be that fast on write, as one could multi-stage the backup through fast temp storage. Get it off the system to a fast drive, then back up that drive to tape at something less than ludicrous speed, no?

        • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Thursday April 20, @01:14AM (1 child)

          by butthurt (6141) on Thursday April 20, @01:14AM (#496633) Journal

          If you're backing up really massive amounts of data, requiring hundreds or thousands of cartridges, LTO is the cheapest way to do it [...]

          The previous poster seemed to be describing a place where a single hard drive could hold te whole of their data. Hard drives are now available with 12 TB uncompressed capacity; that ought to be enough for some.

          https://www.hgst.com/products/hard-drives/ultrastar-he12 [hgst.com]

          • (Score: 2) by ledow on Thursday April 20, @07:36AM

            by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @07:36AM (#496737) Homepage

            Tape has use cases.

            But how many people are using hundreds of tapes? Not that many compared to how many people can back up everything to a handful of them.

            For every massive company with hundreds of terabytes of vital data, there are hundreds of companies with only terabytes of vital data. Probably that same company's lawyers, accountants, architects, HR outsourcers, etc. etc. etc.

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday April 20, @08:18AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Thursday April 20, @08:18AM (#496757) Journal

          I did the maths in a previous story about tapes, so I can't be bothered to do it again now, but the conclusion was that, eventually as your storage size increases, LTO converges on being the cheapest technology. Tape has much higher fixed costs, but lower per-GB costs than other technologies. I think last time I worked it out, the break-even point for tapes vs hard disks was 100TB of backup, which is a lot more than many SMEs need. The problem for tape is that this number was about 10TB when I did the same calculation a couple of years earlier. The amount of data that most businesses have is growing a lot more slowly than the rate at which the break-even point for tape is receding[1], so the potential market is also shrinking. This pushes up the price of the drives, because each new generation needs its R&D costs amortised over fewer sales (and costs more to for the R&D in total, because tape stopped being easy decades ago), which pushes the break-even point even further out. It won't be long before the break-even point is so high that there aren't enough people left to cover the R&D costs for the new tape.

          [1] This is also a problem for Oracle. 20-30 years ago, any company with more than a couple of dozen employees needed a high-end database server to manage all of their internal payroll, HR, and so on data. Now, a similar company might have 100 times as much data per employee, but a cheap commodity PC running Postgres (or even MS SQL Server) will happily handle it, so the market for people who need Oracle keeps shrinking.

          --
          sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 1) by Roger Murdock on Thursday April 20, @01:16AM (2 children)

        by Roger Murdock (4897) on Thursday April 20, @01:16AM (#496635)

        And you're still looking at being down for the day to restore from a tape even if everything works.

        Wait what? Are you using audio cassettes?

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by ledow on Thursday April 20, @07:32AM (1 child)

          by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @07:32AM (#496736) Homepage

          A single 6TB tape at the speeds of the tape drive I found (which states 576 GBph uncompressed transfer rate)?

          That's 12 hours.

          If you're talking autoloaders, you could be down for DAYS.

          • (Score: 1) by Roger Murdock on Friday April 21, @03:30AM

            by Roger Murdock (4897) on Friday April 21, @03:30AM (#497208)

            Fair enough, I'm imagining that having to recover 6+ TB of data probably means there was a pretty significant storage failure though which might render snapshots/checkpoints moot. We use disk backups, volume shadow copy etc for ease of restore for "I lost my word document" moments which is probably 90% + of restores but anything older than a month or two comes from tape. Anything that requires a restore from off-site media involving multiple tapes probably also involves new hardware, which is a much bigger bottleneck than tape speed.

  • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Wednesday April 19, @09:33PM

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 19, @09:33PM (#496566) Journal

    The Linear Tape-Open [wikipedia.org] market is stable:

    Indeed, following that link, one finds sage wisdom buried about three-fourths of the way down the page:

    LTO technology competes... against other tape technologies and hard disk technology.... LTO has succeeded on both fronts, almost completely displacing all other mid-range and low-end tape technologies and preventing, or at least delaying, the predicted "death of tape" at the hands of disk.

    Competing in the automotive market for only slightly longer, Station Wagons have not fared nearly so well [qz.com] against their competition over time.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by nobu_the_bard on Wednesday April 19, @09:36PM (2 children)

    by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Wednesday April 19, @09:36PM (#496567)

    Why ever upgrade from tape? We've already got it set up, processes established, policies documented, expectations established, core equipment installed and configured, etc!

    You want to build what? Instead of just buying new tape every year?

    I mean it sounds nice but the TIME and COST!

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday April 20, @04:01AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday April 20, @04:01AM (#496680) Journal

      There is one obstacle though. Tape drive technology moves on and necessitates buying a new drive which will obsolete tapes. And possible any robot arm(s).

    • (Score: 2) by ledow on Thursday April 20, @07:38AM

      by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @07:38AM (#496739) Homepage

      So your tape drives never fail, need maintenance, degrade or have a MTBF?

      Nice. Lots of people would be interested in that.

      P.S. A backup solution that's not reviewed at least annually, and devices that aren't serviced / replaced at least every few years, is doomed to failure.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday April 20, @04:03AM (3 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Thursday April 20, @04:03AM (#496681) Journal

    How about backup on BluRay discs using automated robot handling?
    (disc in, write, disc out, next..)

    • (Score: 2) by ledow on Thursday April 20, @07:39AM (1 child)

      by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 20, @07:39AM (#496742) Homepage

      1 6Tb LTO tape = 122 standard BD-ROMs.

      Just the wear and tear on the robot being 122 times that of a tape drive would kill the idea.

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday April 20, @08:21AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Thursday April 20, @08:21AM (#496758) Journal
      I bought a BluRay writer for my NAS for backups (it was only about £5 more than a DVD writer). I've never actually used it - the disks are just too small to back up anything (even my modest music collection doesn't fit on a single disk) without splitting it.
      --
      sudo mod me up
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