Over the past month, I've been lucky enough to spend a lot of time out in the field – connecting with a lot of interesting customers at industry events and spending quality time with Quantum’s regional sales teams around the globe. One common theme across all of this seems to be a resurgence in interest in LTO technology, based on two dynamics and two use cases.
The LTO Program announced yet another record year for LTO capacity shipments in 2017, with more than 108,000 PB of total compressed capacity shipped. That represents a 13% annual increase over 2016 and more than double the capacity shipped just four years ago, in 2013.
As we head into the celebration of Valentine’s Day, we look to the heartfelt version of tape – with some surprising statistics on sales of cassette tapes in 2017. Did you know (according to Nielsen Music), US cassette sales had a 35% increase over 2016 with 174,000 sold. We accredit this trend to “hipster” artists bringing back an old trend to differentiate their record launches including Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv is Rage, DJ Khaled’s Grateful, and Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life.
Tape storage doesn’t make The Wall Street Journal very often, but this past year the most notable business journal in the US took time to highlight the increase in use of tape for data protection. Here are some key takeaways:
Recently, Quantum has had some success displacing Oracle tape libraries with Quantum Scalar® tape libraries. Quantum’s focus on tape and continued investment in storage technologies—like our new Scalar i3 and Scalar i6 tape libraries with the best storage density, and the introduction of LTO-8 this quarter—have driven customers to switch and save costs.
On March 23rd, Storage Newsletter published an article that referenced the amount of LTO storage capacity shipped in 2015, and that the LTO capacity shipped actually increased by about 18% versus the prior year. These figures are based on a report that was published by the LTO consortium, and the report also indicated that more than 385,000 PB of total data capacity has been shipped since the introduction of LTO Ultrium cartridges in 2000.
Video editing has always placed higher demands on storage than any other file-based applications, and with today’s higher resolution formats, streaming video content demands even more performance from storage systems, with 4K raw requiring 1210 MB/sec per stream—7.3 times more throughput than raw HD. In the early days of non-linear editing, this level of performance could only be achieved with direct attached storage (DAS). As technology progressed, we were able to add shared collaboration even with many HD streams. Unfortunately, with the extreme demands of 4K and beyond, many workflows are resorting to DAS again, despite its drawbacks. With DAS, sharing large media files between editors and moving the content through the workflow means copying the files across the network or on reusable media such as individual USB and Thunderbolt-attached hard drives. That’s not only expensive because it duplicates the storage capacity required; it also diminishes user productivity and can break version control protocols. In this blog, we'll look the key differences between major storage technologies and well as general usage recommendations.
One of the challenges an administrator at a content company stumbles with when beginning to implement a MAM-based workflow with a tiered storage solution is which one to lead with. It’s almost like new dance partners stumbling over each other’s feet. Even in well-integrated solutions, where the MAM vendor has coded to the archive vendor’s APIs, there is room for conflict. Does one stick solely to the MAM software itself to drive the archival and retrieval of content to the repository? Or does one complement this with policies in the storage archive software itself to automate the archival? Folks in the Hollywood area have an opportunity to learn more about MAM, archive and workflow storage in a live demo event at MelroseMac’s offices on June 9 with BlackMagic Cameras, Cantemo and StorNext. Read on and RSVP for the event.
Finally – a day to celebrate everything about backup! We know that backups can sometimes be seen as a necessarily evil, but let’s face it – backing up and protecting data is more important than ever. Both for consumers at a personal level, but also for businesses, digital information is more valuable than ever. And the nature of backup is changing – the idea of ‘batch backup’ that businesses have employed for years is going away, with new technologies and approaches for storing and protecting data coming out all the time. It’s an interesting opportunity to reflect on where Quantum has been in the world of backup as a leader in various technologies, and now where we’re going as a storage company.
Yes – you saw that correctly. The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (of which Quantum is one of three TPCs) has published their updated road map and it shows a stunning potential of 120 TB per single cartridge for generation 10 of LTO technology. That is 600 times the capacity released for the first generation of LTO technology. The road map announcement is timely as the IBC show takes place this week and the theme of that show is “Content Everywhere”. While IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) is a vertically oriented event (broadcast vertical), the theme is relevant across many industries. How many of you are not in the broadcast industry but are experiencing a huge swell in the amount of content under management in your own organization?
The NAB Show in Las Vegas is a super exciting event. Just getting to see massive 4K HD screens and the way in which the broadcasting industry is pushing data storage technology is really awesome and fun. At the show, I was talking to a small post production company about our Scalar LTFS and Scalar library solutions for data storage in their workflow, and the editor’s comment was, “This is perfect. This will let us go tapeless.” I totally did a double-take before realizing that he was talking about analog tape. It’s kind of interesting to realize that in the M&E space, they don’t even think about LTO technology as “tape” – which in the IT world is a word that carries a lot of baggage. Instead, they view it like it should be viewed across the industry – as a really good (the best?) storage medium for long-term storage.