Why Tape Rolls On: Reliability

Reliability: (adv.) the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials.  Dependable.  Sure.  Trustworthy.  (From our friends at Merriam-Webster). And there’s a picture of tape next to the definition.  Ok, so maybe the picture statement was a stretch, but associating the definition of reliability with tape definitely is not. Read More

Part 3: Why Tape Rolls On ? Speed

Speed (n.) Swiftness. Rapidity. Rate of motion or performance. (from Merriam Webster)

A trade show participant once told me he didn’t use tape because, “…it wasn’t fast enough”.  When asked how fast he needed to move data he said he needed to move it at about 200 MB/s for his backup purposes.  Furthermore, he believed only disk was fast enough to deliver.  When told a single LTO-4 tape drive could stream data at 120 MB/s and only 2 drives were needed to meet his requirement, he was shocked.  Unfortunately, his perception of tape is not exceptional given the marketing dollars spent “educating the masses” about the speed of disk versus tape. Read More

Spectra Logic Federal?s State of the Union

by Mark Weis

You are approaching the end of federal buying season (tips here) just as Spectra Logic is wrapping up a record 2011 fiscal year (our CEO’s comments are here.) As a company, we achieved 30 percent overall growth and 49 percent growth in enterprise tape sales. Now is a good time for my annual State of the Union address- to relay what end users are reporting from the field, and share why Spectra Logic Federal revenues grew an astronomical 42 percent over this same time period last year. This combination will supply insight to the healthy contribution that Federal has made to the company’s recent achievements. Read More

Spectra: Building Relationships and Products That Survive the Test of Time

Nathan Thompson's Fiscal Year 2011 Blog Update
By Nathan Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Spectra Logic

Recently we brought a group of our large users to Boulder to give us input on our technology and support strategies.  In speaking with these customers it became very clear that long-term relationships are important when it comes to storage, followed by the longevity of their storage platforms. The relationship aspect was not a surprise.  However, we didn’t fully appreciate that many of our largest customers ideally would like to keep their tape library storage devices in place for upwards of 20 years. During that time they expect that the modularity of their libraries will allow them to continue to increase capacity, density, reliability and utility as new “plug-in” technology becomes available through Spectra.  Since then I have been looking back—and we do have some customers who have been running 8mm AIT Spectra libraries for nearly two decades.  Upgrades have been applied to keep up with data growth, but they still are running the same robot with older drives (even thought 8mm tape is at the end of the road).  Read More

Part 2: Why Tape Rolls On: Green Storage

It’s been said that airplanes magically turn money into noise.  In a similar way, it can be stated that disk storage turns money into heat.  In both cases, benefits like fast, reliable transportation and fast random data access accrue as the result of said magic.  Unfortunately, it also means a LOT of money may be involved yielding a lot of noise and heat respectively. Read More

LTFS versus TAR: Which one, or perhaps both?

by Matthew Star, CTO, Spectra Logic

LTFS, linear tape file system, is sometimes called long term filesytem. No matter what you call it; LTFS lets tape behave like removable disk. Having tested various LTFS applications, I can tell you it is shaping up to become the new standard in tape interchange, particularly in LTO-based archives. LTFS is an open standard that uses two partitions to split directory contents from its associated file data. But what about the other open formats like TAR (derived from “tape archive”), which are open and have compatibility across multiple platforms? How does LTFS stack up in comparison? Read More