Observations from the NAB Show Floor

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NAB 2012 has come and gone, and it was a great show for Spectra Logic!  We had more meetings and booth traffic than ever before.  While a lot of hype was generated from remote controlled helicopters carrying high def cameras and a large presence by GoPro, here are some things that stood out from the vantage point of the Spectra Logic booth:

Attendance was definitely up.  Of the people that came by, most were in a decision-making capacity, which is a good thing for any vendor.

No more drinking the disk Kool-Aid.  The last of the dying breed of disk only users seem to have paid the high cost of that strategy, unfortunately in loss of content.  One customer in particular, who will remain nameless, I remember well from last year when he was very excited that his station had just procured a rather large amount of disk storage to backup their primary – “oh, we’ll be good for a while now” were his words I believe.  I saw him again the first day of the show and this year he says, “We need to talk!” It turns out that large amount of storage he bought for a great price didn’t help him when a software bug started randomly deleting files.  They lost 7,000 titles!

Tape is hot.  Especially in a world of “tapeless” workflows it’s amazing how everyone wants and needs tape.  It appears that more and more people are realizing that data tape, and specifically LTO tape, are a necessary component of most environments.  Whether it’s for delivering media to other facilities where it just doesn’t make sense to send files on external hard drives anymore, or for mass storage where disk just isn’t cost logical, or for plain old data protection (see above), LTO it seems is on everyone’s list when it comes to storage and archive.  There were lots of questions about LTO6 and its impending release and Spectra’s pre-purchase program.  It’s really amazing to see that even with advances in technology where we can now store 1.5TB per LTO cartridge and soon 3TB per cartridge, and the sizes of libraries getting bigger and bigger, the demand is still there for large systems.  We had a couple of tape libraries on the floor that were each over 2,000 slots, or 3PB, and they weren’t big enough for many.  Bottom line — if you need it, we’ll build it!

LTFS is increasingly a hot topic.  It is a strong wave in the market that more and more vendors are riding on.  Right now we’re certified with all applications that utilize LTFS, but we do not specifically offer an LTFS-based library. What we’ve made sure of though, is that our Media Life Cycle Management (MLM) can be fully utilized to ensure content is available far into the future.  Time will tell how functional and practical LTFS is, but one thing we do hear is that LTFS alone, in its current form, is not suitable to manage assets.  However, I think ultimately the end-user demands will drive vendors to introduce LTFS based solutions. 

Overall NAB was a great show and Spectra Logic looks forward to another great year next year!