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Data Storage

Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges 208

jfruh (300774) writes "Who says tape storage is out of date? Sony researchers have announced a breakthrough in magnetic tape tech that increases the data density per square inch by a factor of 74. The result could be 185 TB tape cartridges. 'By comparison, LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open), the latest generation of magnetic tape storage, has a density of 2 gigabits per square inch, or 2.5 TB per cartridge uncompressed.'"
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Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges

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  • By way of context... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @05:30AM (#46897619) Journal
    Since this was the first question that came to my mind: apparently HDD platter densities (in similar 'we have demonstrated the technology but don't look for it at Best Buy just yet' stage) are ~ 1 terabit/square inch.

    Obviously, the cost of packaging a given number of square inches of HDD platter is markedly higher, so the tape is likely to offer better value(if you are using enough to spread the, generally alarming, cost of the drive(s) and possibly robotic library around a bit); but it's hard to beat the density of a very tightly controlled rigid medium that never leaves a controlled environment during its entire life.
  • by quantumghost ( 1052586 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @05:40AM (#46897633) Journal

    So at 185TB per tape with the write speed of LTO6 "at speeds up to 400MB/s (1.4TB/hr) []" [optimal]....~132 hrs per tape. But in reality 300 MB/s or 1 TB/hr so about 176 hr/tape. 168 hours in a week.....Next weekly back up starts before the first one finished.....

    Yeah, I know, they're not all level 0 get the idea....sometimes it might be better to have 2 smaller tapes, than 1 large.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @07:15AM (#46897849)

    If you don't restore at least one file after every back up, you are going to discover (as a company I worked for found) that your tape is blank when you need it most.

  • Security cameras (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @07:50AM (#46897937)
    This would be great for security camera applications. The number one reason resolution sucks on security camera recordings is due to a lack of storage. Rather than seeing a indecipherable black and white (color is even worse) video of a suspect robbing a store, we would get it in HD. Have a few cameras on the inside, and on the outside to capture the getaway car, this could actually discourage some crimes.
  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:04AM (#46898755)

    You have no idea what you are talking about. Most tapes are not written by people and put on a shelf. Most tapes are automatically managed by a tape library, such as this one [] (note that thing can store up to 900PB.) Read failures do not happen, because the library and host software together automatically count cycles and copy to a different tape when the cycles get too high, as well as detecting corrected errors and signalling when there is a problem with a tape.

    z/OS, for instance, has a hierarchical storage manager where, by policy, data that is not accessed in certain period of time is moved first to slower (cheaper) disk, then to tape. Where I work, the 'to tape' time is about a month. In over 30 years of using such systems I have seen the 'DFHSM is recalling from tape' message many thousands of times, and I have never once encountered a situation where the recall failed or the data was corrupted. And the recall typically takes less than a minute.

    It seems that most people on here only have experience with crappy home tape systems.

    So let's do your contrasting with HDDs. That library holds up to 900PB, and uses 1.6kVA of power. It takes up 163 square feet of floor space. By my calculation, that would take over 1 million 1TB HDDs in a RAID array. How much floor space would that take? How much power would it use? How much heat would be generated?

    If you have a lot of data, and do not need all of the data 'right this second', and (most importantly) have a system that can manage the data without causing the user to jump through hoops, tape makes an excellent solution. And that describes most large companies.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger