The Evolving Role of Tape Technology in a Data-Driven World

These are unprecedented times. And there has never been a more important time than now for IT professionals to depend on trusted vendors, partners, suppliers and technology for ways to maintain business continuity and digital preservation. For more than 40 years, Spectra has been helping its customers solve their most pressing data storage and data management challenges. A key part of this strategy has been our dedication to the advancement of the industry’s most cost-effective, reliable and established choice for archiving and preserving massive amounts of data – tape technology.

Tested and deployed for more than 60 years, tape technology continues to evolve to meet the mounting hurdles of storing, accessing and preserving petabytes of data.  With long roadmaps and hundreds of technological improvements, such as advances in media substrates and coatings, tape technology and tape libraries today are poised for a strong and enduring future. In fact, tape continues to be deployed by many of the largest brands in the world. And cloud service providers recognize the advantages that tape technology offers over other technologies for large-scale data archiving, including tape’s lower cost, higher reliability, reduced power consumption, longer archive life and lower total cost of ownership.

Linear Tape Open (LTO) technology is the primary tape technology used around the globe. The LTO Consortium ensures interoperability for manufacturers of both LTO tape drives and media. In 2018, the eighth generation of LTO tape was introduced, providing 12TB native (uncompressed) capacity per cartridge. Subsequent LTO generations are on the horizon, with no release dates yet announced. For customers with high duty-cycle requirements, enterprise tape technology developed by IBM works well. Designed to provide enterprise-class reliability with 24 x 7 usage, the IBM® TS1160 Technology tape drive provides very high reliability and data integrity, along with the largest capacity per tape and the fastest data rate of any tape technology available.

With data repositories expanding at unparalleled rates, tape technology has evolved to become an essential archiving and digital preservation piece of an organization’s best-in-class data protection plan. Spectra, along with tape providers like IBM, HPE, Quantum, Fujifilm and Sony, continue to educate IT professionals on the inherent value of and improvements in tape technology.  To that end, Spectra sponsors, supports, helps, funds and manages numerous events and reports that showcase tape, including the Tape Storage Council, the Active Archive Alliance, Storage Technology Showcase, the Fujifilm Conference, INSIC, HPSS User Forum, NAB, IBC, ISC, Super Computing, the Sports Alliance Group, and many others.

Speaking of events, please join us for SpectraLIVE, a virtual conference scheduled for May 12, that will showcase the latest Spectra tape storage developments as well as other trends and solutions to help organizations protect their wealth of data today and into the future.

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