from the as-opposed-to-non-linear-tape? dept.
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.
The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum, announced the specifications of the latest LTO Ultrium format, generation 8, which is now available for licensing by media manufacturers.
The LTO Program also released a new LTO technology roadmap, detailing specifications up to twelve (12) generations of tape technology, extending the total capacity of data held on one LTO Ultrium generation 12 tape cartridge to 480TB – an increase of 32 times the capacity of current-generation 7 cartridges.
The new LTO generation 8 specifications are designed to double the tape cartridge capacity from the previous LTO generation 7, with customers now being able to store up to 30TB per cartridge when compressed. In an effort to push the innovation boundaries of tape technology going forward, the current LTO format required a recording technology transition that supports capacity growth for future LTO generations. To address this technological shift and maintain affordability in times of extreme data growth, the latest LTO generation 8 specifications are intended to be only backwards compatible with LTO generation 7 cartridges.
Despite records like 220-330 TB uncompressed in the laboratory, these 100+ TB capacities won't be available for a while:
[Spectra Logic's] CEO and founder, Nathan Thompson, said: "Spectra foresees the availability of LTO-9 at 24TB per tape cartridge in two years; LTO-10 at 48TB in four years; LTO-11 at 96TB in six or seven years; and LTO-12 at 190+TB in eight to nine years. I firmly believe that no other commercial data storage technology available now or on the horizon, will keep pace with or fulfill the world's increasing demand for cost-effective, long-term data storage like tape technology."
Also at IT Jungle.