60 Years Later, Tape Storage Technology Remains Leading-Edge

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Tapped to Support NCSA’s Blue Waters Supercomputer


Today, Spectra Logic announced an exciting partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)to support one of the most powerful and cutting-edge supercomputers in the world with its intelligent tape-based storage repository.

NCSA has selected Spectra Logic’s TFinity tape libraries to provide all of the nearline data storage for its Blue Waters project. The project’s near-line data storage will scale to a capacity of 380 Petabytes within the first two years, and will ultimately scale to more than half an exabyte (>500 petabytes).

Scientists from around the world will use the new NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer for a number of exciting projects – from predicting the behavior of hurricanes and tornadoes to designing new materials at the atomic level, and simulating complex engineered systems like the power distribution system in airplanes and automobiles.

This is significant news for Spectra Logic and for the tape storage industry.  Spectra Logic has been a constant innovator of tape technologies over the past thirty years.  Yet, long before Spectra Logic joined the lineup, tape technology was pushing forward as a primary storage medium.

As the 60-year-anniversary of tape approaches, it is fascinating to see how the value of tape storage is continually being re-invented and tapped to handle of some of the newest applications in the marketplace.

Tape’s evolution and its re-emergence as a growth technology for Big Data environments make it a valuable, indispensable technology. Cloud Storage, Big Data and Streaming Media are just some of the applications where tape has proven its value as an important part of best practice deployments for the management of large file stores.

It is rewarding to see tape-based storage play a major role in one of the largest, ‘best practice’ HPC deployments to date and to help support important scientific breakthroughs and advancements that the Blue Waters project will enable.

We are excited about the role Spectra Logic’s tape libraries will play in this remarkable endeavor, and how tape technologies will continue to evolve and advance the world of storage for many years to come.