Odd to Outrageous

Reading time for this article .

First, the odd.  The enormous ball of tape (blessed by the Guinness Book of World Records, a marvelous device with which to level your desk) that EMC stuck in a London hotel lobby is the biggest ball of tape ever (2 meters across).

Why on earth did EMC create this? The tape ball is already denser than any of their disk.  Admitted to be 1.8 PB native capacity, it comes to 3.6 PB compressed. Alternately, using another statement associated with the same source, the tape for the ball came from 6,000 tape cartridges which, if one assumes them to be LTO5, is 9 PB native/18 PB compressed.

Then there was the motorcycle jump.  The bike and rider jumped over 40 Symmetrix racks totaling 8PB and a distance of 20 meters which is the equivalent of ten tape balls (18 – 180 PB).  Thanks, EMC. You’ve just proven that tape is 2.25 to 22.5 times as dense as disk.

Time-out for a history lesson: a brief look back shows that EMC’s CEO Tucci stated, “Backup to and recovery from tape is dead”as recently as November 2009.  So it must be big news to Tucci that all this time, an EMC VP knew about tape’s sneaky habits. Shane Jackson, VP of marketing for EMC's backup and recovery services division, said, "Tape's had a hideout where customers are using it for long-term data retention for data three to seven years old and beyond."Stop the presses. You mean tape isn’t dead?

And finally, what about the outrageous claim that EMC’s new product is “the industry’s first long term retention system for backup and archive." As analyst, Curtis Preston blogged in his response to the announcement, “Huh?  Isn't tape a unified long term retention system for backup and archive?” Thank you, Curtis. Well said.