by Elizabeth Rosenthal
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Results from supercomputer simulations will reside in modernized tape library
Tape recorders and videocassette tapes may be considered archaic in the entertainment industry, but magnetic tape storage remains one of the most durable, secure, and cost-effective ways to archive big data generated by supercomputers.
After researchers run code on high-performance computing (HPC) systems, key results are initially stored on disks and then transferred to tape libraries for long-term storage. These systems contain tape drives that write data onto magnetic tape and hundreds or thousands of tape cartridges. Robotic arms place these cartridges in slots for safekeeping and retrieve them when users need to access data to cite experiment outcomes in academic articles or share accomplishments with colleagues.