Data Storage

Why LTO Data Tape is a Perfect Fit for the Massive Video Surveillance Market

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Executive Q & A with Jay Jason Bartlett, CEO, Cozaint

Q1: Welcome Jay to this Fujifilm Insights Executive Q & A! Please tell us a bit about your role and responsibility as CEO of Cozaint.

Ans:  Thanks Rich for the invite. I head up a great team of engineers and professionals that have a ton of experience with intelligent surveillance solutions, product development, data storage, and physical security. I’m fortunate to drive the efforts of Cozaint and help this team deliver a market disruptive video surveillance storage solution.

Q2: So, you are pioneering the use of today’s modern LTO data tape for video surveillance content retention. Wasn’t tape the defacto standard before HDDs took over?

Ans: Well, VHS tape was indeed the defacto storage media back in the analog days of video surveillance, say before 2012, when it largely became the domain of HDDs However, we are pushing an innovative new use of LTO data tape media within the video surveillance market to address today’s pain points of high cost and energy intensive HDDs.

Cozaint has a patent-pending on implementing LTO data tape storage in a video surveillance infrastructure in such a way that the video management software (VMS) is able to recall and playback -all- recorded video, without any extra steps or IT personnel needed.

And yes, we do believe this is a ground-breaking approach to utilize VMS aware LTO data tape in the video surveillance market.

Q3:  What is different about today’s market compared to 2016 when LTO was tried in the VS market?


Because so many managers and executives at organizations with responsibility of the physical security / video surveillance infrastructure have been around for a while, when the word ‘tape’ storage is used, modern LTO-9 data tape technology gets confused with old-fashion analog VHS tape storage.

And with the advances in LTO technology, today with LTO-9 digital data tape having a capacity of 18-Terabytes on a single cartridge, the ability to record, store, and manage large amounts of video data on inexpensive and eco-friendly LTO data cartridges is a significant advancement. It solves for higher resolution cameras and longer retention periods for things like AI analytics.

In years past, vendors did try to use LTO in the video surveillance market and some do today but purely for very long-term archive. However, those IT professionals didn’t really have an in-depth understanding of how video needed to be available for easy playback, more of a warm active archive rather than a cold archive use case. Therefore, the implementations were more IT centric instead of video surveillance operations centric. Unfortunately, those prior attempts to use LTO were met with resistance by the users and operators of those VMS systems. They really needed seamless performance when pulling content from an HDD tier or a tape tier.

Another huge difference from 2016 video storage and today’s systems is how ESG or “green” solutions are more important. How much a video storage system eats up in energy costs and cooling costs and management costs has skyrocketed. This is yet another advantage for LTO as there is absolutely no ‘greener’ storage media than LTO. The TCO costs savings should make anyone give such an LTO solution a long serious look.

Q4: You said LTO tape must be VMS aware, what does that mean?


Cozaint has learned from those previous attempts to utilize LTO that the center of the universe of any video surveillance infrastructure is the video management software (VMS). Meaning, that the user / operator of the VMS that is needing to recall and playback recorded video, needs to do so directly and easily via the VMS software ‘timeline’ feature.

This timeline is where the VMS operator will scroll back and forth (some call it scrubbing the timeline) to search for the event of interest within the recorded video.

Unlike other systems, such as video editing tools in the media and entertainment industry, the VMS operator really does not know what or where they are looking. They have a general idea, but need to bounce around the VMS timeline to find the event.

This timeline scrubbing creates a specific challenge for video storage when attempting to implement LTO storage. The VMS and the underlying infrastructure need to be flexible enough, yet sophisticated enough, to know where the video of interest could be stored on a number of LTO tapes and then be able to quickly load and seek the video.

This is where LTO storage libraries come into focus within such an infrastructure. With multiple LTO drives available in various size LTO libraries, with LTO cartridge ‘slots’ within such a library (think of a classic record jukebox), the ability to quickly find the needed video is significantly faster.

This LTO library with multiple LTO drive capabilities delivers a level of scalability that is just not affordable in a hard-disk only video storage system.

And this scalability is what provides for a dramatically lower cost to store video with LTO.

Q5: Tell us about Marcia and how is it a breakthrough enabler for LTO to work in the VS industry?


Cozaint’s MARCIA™ middleware software sits behind any file-based VMS system and manages a multiple tier storage infrastructure, for example HDD + LTO. Again, with years of understanding how video surveillance storage is managed, we have learned that the ideal set-up is a two-tier storage approach.

The first tier of storage is hard-disk based to allow the VMS operator to recall and playback their most recent recorded video. The customer / organization can determine the retention period they need for their operations with, let’s call it instant gratification in video playback, tier 1 and then all the video recordings being held on tier 2 consisting of LTO scalable storage.

A large expense/cost of a video surveillance infrastructure is in the hard-disk storage portion of the overall solution. Even though hard drives seem “cheap” – when you start needing more than a couple hundred terabytes of video storage, the hard disk storage becomes expensive quickly. Not to mention power and cooling.

Therefore, when we create a 2-tier video storage solution with minimal hard disk storage and scalable LTO storage, we can deliver a significantly more affordable system.

MARCIA is the middleware that manages all of this multi-tier storage so that the VMS operator does not need to think about where any of their video is recorded and stored. MARCIA keeps track of what is on tier 1 and tier 2 and quickly loads and plays the video the operator is requesting. And as the operator ‘bounces around the timeline’ MARCIA is able to deliver the requested video either instantly as in a typical solution or within just a couple of minutes if the video is located on LTO.

What this really delivers for the organization is better outcomes for the overall usage of the recorded video surveillance. If you think about why you are doing the video recordings in the first place, being able to quickly and easily recall and playback video is important.

More important is the quality of that recorded video. As soon as the industry moved from those analog VHS tapes, the hard-disk based video storage vendors have been coercing compromises in the video quality to make up for the expensive costs of hard disk storage.

Motion-only based recordings; low-frame rate recordings; low-resolution recordings even from very high-resolution cameras. All of these “normal” practices in video surveillance recording are being compromised because of the expense of hard-disk based storage systems.

It’s actually quite amazing how users have just become desensitized to these poor-quality compromises.

Q6: Any idea how much HDD capacity is shipped into the global market just for VS data retention?


According to IDC, the capacity shipments of HDD into video surveillance applications in 2021 were 111 Exabytes, about 8.0% of total HDD shipments, followed by 79 EB or 7% in 2022 and estimated at 100 EB or about 7.5% in 2023.

By comparison, LTO capacity shipments in 2023 were 153 EB with 2.5X compression, so maybe 65 EB native? Therefore, the HDD market just for VS applications is larger than the entire LTO market.

That’s a lot of video data.  And we want to help organizations record, store, and manage that video in the most cost-efficient way possible. While making it easy to playback at the same time.   I think we have solved that issue.

Q7: Where can readers find more information about your solutions?

Ans: Sure, just go to www.cozaint.com and also check out the VS TCO calculator comparing the cost of VS retention with and without LTO at: www.bradjohnsconsulting.com/vs-tco

Q8: Finally, when you are not slaving away for Cozaint, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?


It’s hard to believe we have been building Cozaint for over six years now and in the video surveillance industry since 2008. I’m obviously older now and my joy of being on a basketball court or out on the water on a sailboat has been replaced with three wonderful adult children and their spouses and now four adorable grandchildren. There really is nothing better than being “Papa.”

Thanks for your time Jay, and we wish you a lot of success with your software and getting LTO seeded in the Video Surveillance market!

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9 Reasons Why, for Modern Tape, It’s a New Game with New Rules

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies, a long-time storage industry expert and consultant, recently published a 2024 update of his report entitled “Tape. New Game. New Rules”.

This updated report provides a focus on how modern magnetic data tape is solving for IT challenges including runaway data growth, economic pressure, sustainability issues, cybercrime and the reliability that’s needed for the long term preservation of data. And that data that has also grown dramatically in value as we learn to analyze it and derive competitive advantage from it.

Below are 9 reasons why today’s modern tape systems represent a new game with new rules. Taken together, they make a compelling case for many to revisit the rich value proposition that tape has to offer now and well into the future.

LTO Ecosystem Extends Roadmap

In 2022, the LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), HPE, IBM and Quantum Corporation, announced an updated LTO technology roadmap that extends the LTO Ultrium standard through 14 generations. The roadmap calls for tape capacities to double with each new generation, with LTO-14 delivering up to 1,440 TB (1.44 PB compressed) per tape. The new LTO roadmap extension is more relevant than ever and at this point no other storage technologies have revealed a comparable multi-generational roadmap.

LTO-9 Adds Capacity and Features

LTO-9 is the latest LTO generation bringing new functionality to tape including higher capacity, data rate, access time and reliability improvements.  LTO-9 increased the native cartridge capacity of LTO-8 by 50% to 18 TB (45 TB compressed) and increased drive throughput (11%) up to 400 MB/sec enabling a single LTO-9 drive to write up to 1.44 TB/hour. A new feature for the LTO family with LTO-9, oRAO (Open Recommended Access Order) reduces initial file access times to first byte of data by as much as 73%.

Record Capacity Achieved with TS1170 Tape Storage System

2023 marked the debut of a new ultra-high-density tape drive with a native storage capacity of 50 TB in a single cartridge and capacities up to 150 TB per cartridge with 3:1 compression. The IBM TS1170 storage system represents the world’s highest cartridge capacity ever announced and enables data intensive secondary storage applications including AI, big data, archiving, cloud computing, and analytics to significantly reduce their total cost of ownership.

Further Improvements Made in Tape Media Longevity

In 2019, Fujifilm and JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) officially confirmed the longevity of Barium Ferrite magnetic signal strength to be stable for at least 50 years based on studies of LTO-7 tapes. Prior to this confirmation, the number of years for LTO tape longevity had been rated up to 30 years.

Tape Leads Reliability Ratings

Since LTO-1 first came to market in 2000 with a native capacity of 100 GB, the capacity of LTO cartridges has increased by 180 times and data rates have increased by 20 times. Over the same period, the specified uncorrectable Bit Error Rate (BER) of LTO cartridges has improved by a factor of 1000, three orders of magnitude improvement. LTO-9 provides an industry leading uncorrectable bit error rate of 1×1020 compared to the highest HDD BER at 1×1017. A BER of 1×1020 corresponds to one unrecoverable read error event for every 12.5 exabytes of data read. Today, both the latest LTO and enterprise tape products are more reliable than any HDD (or SSD).

Tape Reduces CO2, eWaste and TCO

Moore cites key stats from Improving Information Technology Sustainability with Modern Tape Storage, a research paper issued by Brad John’s Consulting that compared an all data on HDD solution to an all-tape solution and to an active archive that moved 60% of the HDD resident (low activity) data to tape. Moving 60% of HDD data to tape for 10 years reduced carbon emissions by 58% and electronic waste was reduced by 53%. Moving 60% of HDD data to tape, results in a 46% TCO savings. Moving all data to tape results in a 78% cost reduction.

Tape Air-Gap Thwarts Cybercrime

The tape air gap, inherent with tape technology, has ignited significant interest in storing data on air-gapped tape. The “tape air gap” means that there is no electronic connection to the data stored on a removeable tape cartridge therefore preventing a malware attack on stored data. HDD and SSD systems remaining online 7x24x365 are always vulnerable to a cybercrime attack.

Data Protection Strategies Evolving with Tape

Using tape to backup HDDs was the original data protection strategy, but having one backup copy is no longer sufficient. The widely accepted and genetically diverse 3-2-1-1 Backup Strategy states that enterprises should have three copies of backup data on two different media types, one copy offsite and one air gap copy. Combining the tape air gap copy with available tape drive encryption and available WORM (Write Once Read Many) tape strengthens any data center cyber resiliency strategy.

Active Archive Leverages Tape

As the amount of secondary storage data soars, new technology tiers are emerging in secondary storage including the Active Archive, Traditional Archive and Deep Archive to address many new use cases. Many data management products now support tape as an object storage target using S3 services. Combining the open tape file system LTFS with tape partitioning, data mover software (HSM, etc.), an HDD array or NAS in front of a tape library creates an active archive.

In Conclusion

At least 80% of the world’s digital data is optimally suited to reside on secondary storage and this amount could reach nearly 7 ZBs by 2025. In response to this, the tape ecosystem has significantly expanded its capabilities in recent years. Tape has also become the leading pure storage solution to defend against cybercrime by seamlessly integrating air gap, encryption and WORM capabilities. Roadmaps signal that the trend of steady tape innovation will continue well into the future. Tape is the greenest storage technology and can significantly reduce carbon emissions and eWaste from data center operations. More large-scale tier 2 data centers are determined to contain their infrastructure costs and improve their sustainability metrics. They will be motivated to rethink existing data storage practices and take advantage of advanced magnetic tape as they approach exabyte scale. Combined with improved access times, faster data rates, a 50-year media life, lowest TCO and the highest device reliability, modern tape has the greatest potential to address the massive capacity demands of the zettabyte era.

To read the full report:


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Leveraging LTO Tape Technology in Video Surveillance to Create an Active Archive

Reading Time: 4 minutesAs both an active archive and tape evangelist, I’m excited to share how LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape technology can transform video surveillance storage into a powerful, affordable, and long-term active archive solution. While there is a desperate need for more storage to support the proliferation of video surveillance applications, many in the video surveillance industry view the concept of “archive” as a burdensome process. But when done right with easy-to-use LTO tape systems, it becomes a strategic advantage in the form of an active archive.

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It’s Prime Time for Tape for Secondary Data Storage

Reading Time: 2 minutesBig data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, video surveillance, and social media are among some of the biggest trends in the technology industry driving the creation of massive data sets that need to be managed and retained.

A new report from the Tape Storage Council: Tape Is Primed for The Rise in Secondary Storage, looks at the current data growth and economic factors driving the demand for advanced solutions to effectively contain Petascale and Exascale requirements. Many organizations continue to store this data on more costly to operate HDDs (hard disk drives) which require constant power and cooling to maintain reliable operations.

However, as digital data creation continues to grow at 25% or more per year, at least 80% of the world’s digital data is lower activity data optimally suited for secondary storage. Secondary storage is persistent storage designed to keep less critical and less active data on more economical, secure storage mediums that don’t need to be accessed as frequently as data on primary storage.

In response to this challenge, the tape ecosystem has significantly expanded its capabilities in recent years. LTO tape capacity continues to increase as new magnetic particles like Barium Ferrite and Strontium Ferrite will help to scale tape areal density for decades to come and current roadmaps signal that the trend of steady tape innovation will continue well into the future. It’s time to rethink existing data storage practices and take advantage of advanced magnetic tape for delivering the most sustainable, cost effective, highly scalable, and reliable mass storage systems.

For more information the ransomware-resilient, long-term data archiving benefits of tape storage and to download the full report, visit https://tapestorage.org.




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The Benefits of a 2-Tier Video Storage Solution for Video Surveillance Infrastructures

Reading Time: 2 minutesVideo surveillance has become an essential tool in many industries, from law enforcement to retail, transportation, and critical infrastructure. The ability to capture and analyze video footage has enabled organizations to enhance their security, prevent crimes, optimize operations, and make data-driven decisions.

However, with the proliferation of high-definition cameras, the exponential growth of video data, and the increasing demand for longer retention periods, managing video surveillance storage has become a significant challenge for many IT and security departments.

Rather than storing all video data on expensive, energy-intensive, high-performance storage devices such as hard disk drives, organizations can leverage a 2-tiered approach that provides for the quick access of the most recent video and the availability of all recorded video no matter when it was originally stored. This approach can significantly reduce storage costs, optimize system performance, reduce carbon footprint, and simplify video data management.

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5 Facts that Chief Sustainability Officers Need to Know about Data Storage

Reading Time: 5 minutesRecently I had the opportunity to meet with a newly appointed Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at a major scientific research organization. In this new position that seems to be trending across many industries, this CSO has been tasked with the overall responsibility for understanding the organization’s energy profile and how its carbon footprint is spread across its many different departments and then to figure out what actions can be taken to help achieve its carbon reduction goals. With this understanding in place, the CSO will proceed to put downward pressure on the department heads to make meaningful change.

Given this background, the purpose of my call was to explain the role that today’s modern data tape can play in reducing power consumption and associated carbon footprint in data centers. Since this CSO really had no experience in large scale data operations, she was eager to listen given her need to start looking at every department to quickly identify opportunities for energy and carbon reduction. She will go after the low-hanging fruit first, but eventually no stone will be left unturned if her organization is to meet their aggressive sustainability goals.

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NAB Show Recap: Where Content Comes to Life…and Lives Forever!

Reading Time: 5 minutesThe National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) held their annual conference this week in Las Vegas. Some 68,000 attendees from broadcasters to screenwriters, advertisers and streamers, to producers and filmmakers were eager to learn about the latest in media and entertainment technology. Some 1,200 exhibitors set up shop in the Las Vegas convention center, including FUJIFILM with our FUJINON lenses, and Recording Media in the form of LTO tape technology.

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ISC West Expo Reveals Need for Sensible Long Term Video Surveillance Retention

Reading Time: 5 minutes  I attended the International Security Conference West (ISC West) in Las Vegas last week. The show was well attended with some 20,000 visitors packing the aisles and mobbing the booths of some 650 vendors. The show covers everything from video surveillance to computer and communications security, to physical plant security, loss prevention, and more.  

A few items struck me as a first-time visitor to the show, namely, entire booths dedicated to gunshot detection devices and others dedicated to things like drone detection. It’s a sad sign of the times when security professionals have to install gunshot detection devices to improve response time and mitigate deadly intrusions. In the case of drone detection, if you are being spied upon from above, no worries drone detection radar can now electronically jam unmanned aerial vehicles and can even deliver a kill shot as a last resort.   

The other item most relevant to me was the fact that this industry stores almost all of its video surveillance content on expensive, energy-intensive hard disk drives. That’s a problem in general, but even more so when security professionals are being besieged by any number of new budget-draining threats like gun-toting intruders and nefarious aerial snoopers.  

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SC22 Highlights Sustainability Challenges in HPC and How LTO-9 Can Help

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Sustainability has been a hot issue at all of the trade shows I have attended this year from Data Center World in Austin back in March, to the Sports Video Group Forum in July, to the Flash Memory Summit in August to the Open Compute Summit in October. So it was not surprising that SC22 held in Dallas earlier this month also had a heavy sustainability agenda for its HPC target market.

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