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Taking Advantage of LTO-7 “Type M”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rich Gadomski
Vice President of Marketing
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc

Sometimes change can lead to confusion, or at least to a lot of questions. Take changes in the tax laws for example. I won’t get into details, but suffice it to say I feel sorry for tax preparers come 2019!

In the realm of tape storage, we too have had some changes to the traditional roll-out of next-generation LTO tape drives and media. But rather than focus on confusing change, let’s focus on the luxury of having options. That’s exactly what we have in the option offered with the introduction of LTO-8 drives that can use standard LTO-8, LTO-7, or… LTO-7 Type M tape cartridges.

For the first time in the history of LTO technology dating back to 2000, users can now write to the previous generation tape cartridge at a higher density than previously allowed. Specifically, LTO gen 8 drive users can choose the option to write 9.0 TB native at 300 MB per second on a new/unused LTO-7 tape that previously maxed out at 6.0 TB native on LTO-7 drives. Assuming 2.5:1 data compression, 22.5 TB can be stored on a LTO-7 Type M cartridge with transfer speeds up to 750 MB per second. That’s a lot of capacity… and really fast!

Beyond extra capacity, LTO-7 Type M is a good option economically speaking, since there is no price difference between standard LTO-7 media already in the market and LTO-7 Type M media. This means LTO-7 Type M is 33% less on a cost per TB basis than LTO-7 and 45% less than LTO-8 media at current internet reseller prices.

Taking advantage of the LTO-7 Type M option is easy. First, make sure your tape library is equipped with LTO-8 drives and is upgraded to initialize LTO-7 Type M media for 9.0 TB capacity. If necessary, contact your library vendor to confirm this detail or to enable it. For your library to distinguish standard LTO-7 from Type M, you need to use “M8” designated barcode labels as opposed to “L7” designated barcode labels. To verify, you will see the characters“M8” printed to the right of the volser number on the barcode label where you would normally see “L7”.

Finally, like a good drug commercial, there are a few disclaimers to be aware of, but in this case the side-effects don’t sound worse than the disease known as: exponential data growth coupled with shrinking budgets. So here we go:

  • LTO-7 Type M can’t be initialized in standalone LTO-8 drives, library system required. But once initialized by the library, the Type M tape can be used in a standalone LTO-8 drive (read/write)
  • Once initialized for 9.0 TB, the Type M cartridge will not be compatible with LTO-7 drives
  • Type M cartidges will not be read/write compatible with LTO-9 drives

It’s always nice to have the luxury of options especially if that means be able to handle a lot more data at a super attractive price!

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Media & Entertainment’s Secret to Reducing Storage Costs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Kevin Benitez
Product Marketing Manager
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

Over the past decade, the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry has experienced a considerable increase in the amount of data generated due to the transition from traditional media workflows to fully digital environments. Today, the retention and accessibility of digital assets and video are incredibly vital to maintaining a competitive advantage. Fujifilm understands M&E companies’ digital storage challenges; that’s why companies like MLB, The LA Kings Ice Hockey Team, Chainsaw Edit, and others have turned to Fujifilm tape to ensure the integrity of their video assets while drastically reducing long-term storage costs.

Today, tape storage is used in modern infrastructure to deliver high storage capacities with low cost of ownership compared to other storage solutions.

Modern M&E companies continue incorporating data tape storage into their environments to combat costs. Nowadays storage requirements are on a different scale from where M&E companies first started, and data will continue to increase exponentially as the industry moves from HD to 4K, and soon to 8K recording. Today, a single digital 4K camera can record up to 1.5 TB for every hour of filming. Before this, companies like the LA Kings only recorded 200 GB in an entire year. Most IT budgets in the industry are not growing enough to support today’s data deluge—of which data storage can consume 70%.

“Tape storage in general is the lowest cost storage of any type of storage,” says Storage Economics expert Brad Johns

The cost of using LTO-7 tape is as low as $0.01/GB which can be 7 times less expensive than disk storage over a ten year period.* Additionally, tape doesn’t use any energy when it’s not being used, on the other hand, disk systems use 76 times more electrical power than a similarly configured tape system.* “Tape storage in general is the lowest cost storage of any type of storage,” says Brad Johns, founder of Brad Johns Consulting LLC, a storage consulting firm.

Why are leading M&E companies turning to tape?

  • Extremely cost-effective
  • Highly reliable
  • Portable to use at remote locations
  • Scalable to extremely large capacities
  • Open standards to allow the interchange of files

LTO tape is an ideal solution for M&E companies. LTO is an open format designed for interoperability and together with LTFS, provides easy data access and management—perfect for easy file share, high performance, and improved workflow.

How are M&E companies are using tape today?

NewBay Media has compiled how LTO technology and LTFS manage every stage of content creation/ management:

  1. Production. LTO technology with LTFS protects original content with on-site backup copy, reduces camera media inventory costs, and enables the interchange of content between production sites and post-production.
  2. Post-Production. LTO technology with LTFS offers a low-cost storage solution for work-in-progress, scales to meet large capacities, provides a standard means of interchange across the post-production ecosystem, and gives users the ability to offload less active content from expensive, high-performance flash or disks.
  3. Distribution. LTO technology with LTFS supports the transfer of large amounts of digital content at low cost and serves as the de-facto standard for submission of content—to studios and between business partners.
  4. Archiving. LTO technology with LTFS is ideal for long-term storage due to its durability, reliability, and low cost of operation. It scales to meet very large capacity requirements and supports rapid restoration for the repurposing of content.

Tape’s low-cost acquisition price per gigabyte and TCO advantage compared with other storage mediums make tape the most cost-effective technology for long-term data retention. Today, M& E companies can compare the total cost of ownership of data retention using TCO calculators created by Brad Johns Consulting, https://page.dternity.net/TCO.html, and the LTO consortium, https://www.lto.org/resources/.

More M&E companies are seeing the advantages of LTO tape, which can store massive amounts of data and combat ever-increasing storage costs across production, post-production, distribution, or archiving.

*Source: ESG report “Analyzing the Economic Value of LTO Tape for Long-Term Data Retention.”

*Source: The Clipper Group “Continuing the Search for the Right Mix of Long-Term Storage Infrastructure —A TCO Analysis of Disk and Tape Solutions.”

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Save Over $1 Million by Migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kevin Benitez
Product Marketing Manager
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

We know your data is important, but let’s face it, data growth is rising exponentially, and there is no turning back. No matter the industry, the daily creation of data is mindboggling, whether it’s emails, videos, IoT, blockchain or something new, it doesn’t matter because for every keystroke typed there is a new set of data created, computed, and stored forever. On the bright side, if you are using LTO-5 tape for backup/archive, now is the perfect time to migrate to LTO-7 since it could save your IT department $1,276,280 over the next five years.

There are significant benefits to migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7. If the impressive transfer rate of 300 MB / sec or enormous 6 TB capacity of LTO-7 hasn’t won you over, surely the cost savings will. IT budgets are only growing at an average of 7% annually. Meanwhile, the average data growth is between 35% and 65%, compounding yearly! In order for IT departments to meet future budget requirements, they need to unlock the economic value of LTO-7.

A recent cost-benefit analysis conducted by Brad Johns Consulting discovered that migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7 consistently generated greater TCO savings across all storage capacities if the customer’s data was growing at all.

Brad Johns’ study investigated TCO over a five-year period for LTO-5 and LTO-7 for three different capacities 500TB, 2500TB, 5000TB and annual growth rates ranging from 10% to 50%. IT departments with the annual growth rate of 40% can expect savings from $135,308 to $1,276,280 over the next five years by switching to LTO-7.

Savings Chart

Methodology

  • Only new media and drives were purchased.
  • The LTO-5 configurations were configured with a minimum of two tape drives and 100 tape cartridges per drive.
  • The number of LTO-7 drives in the new configuration provided at least the same aggregate data rate as the LTO-5 base configuration (also with a two-drive minimum).

Overall the math shows migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7 can significantly reduce cost, especially if a business has the ability to install LTO-7 drives in existing libraries rather than requiring a new library.

Not only do LTO-5 customers have a significant financial incentive to migrate to LTO-7, but they have additional technical benefits. The LTO-7 tape drives can read LTO-5 media as well as reading and writing on LTO-6 media. If LTO technology, in general is a concern, you can be confident that LTO is here to stay, and future proofing is already in development with Generation 12 and beyond. Bottom line, LTO-7 definitely has a place in your archive for long-term preservation management, especially if you are currently using LTO-5.

Have questions or need help making the decision?

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Thoughts on New 12 Generation LTO Tape Road Map

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Rich Gadomski
V.P. Marketing
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

The newly update roadmap released by the LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs) in October 2017, now spans an amazing 12 generations. The original LTO roadmap released in 2000 featured just the original four generations with LTO- 1 at 100 GB and LTO-4 at 800 GB capacity. Other popular tape formats like DDS and DLT had just four or five generations over their entire lifespan. IBM enterprise tape has had a pretty good run when you factor in 3480, 3490, 3590 and 3592 JA, JB, JC, and JD.

LTO certainly has had a very good run these past 17 years and figures to have decades left to go. If we assume two to two-and-a-half years between generations, and based on LTO-8 as newly introduced at the start of 2018, we might expect Gen 12 to be in the market around 2028. The spec on LTO-12 is 192 TB native (480 TB compressed assuming 2.5:1 compression). Is this even achievable based on current tape technology? After all, we are at 6.0 TB on LTO-7 today and LTO-8 is slated for 12.0 TB native.

This is where the importance of long-term research and development comes into play. Recall that in 2006, IBM and Fujifilm demonstrated the achievement of an areal density of 6.7 Gbpsi (billions of bits per square inch) which gave us the potential to achieve up to 8.0 TB native capacity on a single cartridge based on the first generation of Barium Ferrite magnetic particles. Sure enough, by 2011 the first multi-terabyte tapes came to market at 4.0 TB and 5.0 TB from IBM and Oracle respectively. This was followed by LTO-6 at 2.5 TB in 2012. Fast forward to 2015 when IBM and Fujifilm demonstrated the achievement of 123 Gbpsi with potential for a native 220 TB cartridge using 3rd generation Barium Ferrite magnetic particles.

More recently Sony and IBM demonstrated 201 Gbpsi with potential for a 330 TB cartridge and Fujifilm’s Strontium Ferrite next-generation magnetic particle promises more than 400 TB on a cartridge with an areal density of approximately 224 Gpsi. How dense can the areal density get? If you look at HDD areal density, it is greater than 1,000 Gpsi. So, we can safely say that tape has no fundamental technology limitations and can achieve not only Gen 12 but many generations beyond that. This, of course, makes tape a safe bet for long-term migration plans at a cost that will continue to be significantly lower than competing technologies.

Ultrium Roadmap

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