Over the past few weeks, I’ve been updating a number of technical documents about how LTO-7 and soon to be released LTO-8 have made quantum leaps in both capacity (recording density) and data reliability. During this process, I thought back to the days of old when we old-timers were just getting started, before data storage became a specialty. It’s somewhat mind-boggling how far data recording has progressed in recent years. Back in the day, the maximum data capacity of a 2,400-foot 9-track tape reel, recorded at 6,250 BPI was 170 MB. Today LTO-7 recording density is 19,107 bits/mm, which equates to 477,675 BPI, providing 6 TB per cartridge on a 3,400-foot piece of media—and LTO-8 is projected to have 12 TB per cartridge. Truly amazing!
How do they go so fast? We are continually battling competitors stating ingest performance using numbers that defy logic. That is, we compete against systems that have four x 10GbE ports that supposedly ingest at 100TB/hour. The following example is not to create debate about specific mathematical accuracy but to educate you on how they are “cooking the books”.