FUJIFILM INSIGHTS BLOG

Data Storage

How to Store a Zettabyte

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According to Aaron Ogus, partner development manager for Microsoft Azure Storage, storing a zettabyte of storage will be financially feasible in 2020. Data growth will always exceed expectations, and tape has a more credible road map and one that is easier to get to with not as much investment. Learn more in this video blog:

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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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The Impact of GDPR on Your Data Management Strategy

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By Floyd Christofferson,
SVP of Products at Strongbox Data

It is no illusion that every time you turn around it seems there is another report of a high-profile hack of sensitive personal data, impacting hundreds of millions of people all over the world. The recent Equifax hack released personal financial data of over 143 million consumers, but that was not an isolated incident. In 2016 and 2017 so far there have been at least 26 major hacks around the world that have released personal data of more than 700 million people. These include hacks of telecommunication companies, financial institutions, government agencies, universities, shopping sites, and much more.

The hacks are not a new problem. But in a global economy with often conflicting political and economic priorities at stake, there has been no comprehensive approach to ensuring people have the right to protect and delete if they want, all of their personal data.

The European Union’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) went into effect in May 2018. Although GDPR is designed to protect European citizens, the rules and penalties apply to any company from any country who does business in Europe. And the penalties are significant, with companies at risk of being fined up to 4% of their global annual gross revenues or €20 million (whichever is greater) for failing to comply with strict right-to-be-forgotten and privacy protections for customer data.

As a result, there is a growing panic among businesses as they try to figure out how to solve this problem in time, and how to do so with existing data management and storage resources that are not designed for this task. And the concern is not only in Europe. Companies in the US and around the world who have customers in Europe are also scrambling to ensure they are in full compliance by the deadline. But according to Gartner, by the end of 2018 over 50% of companies affected by the GDPR worldwide will not be in full compliance with its requirements.

In this paper we offer an overview of the key provisions of GDPR that impact storage and data management for both structured and unstructured data. In subsequent technical briefs, we will go into more detail about specific technical solutions to help ensure your data environment is in compliance, even with your existing storage and data infrastructure.

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Media & Entertainment’s Secret to Reducing Storage Costs

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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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What Exactly is Barium Ferrite?

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By: Ken Kajikawa

The marketplace is full of examples of unique manufacturing ingredients that make products special. McDonald’s has its special sauce. Kentucky Fried Chicken has its secret recipe. Bush’s Beans has a talking dog that won’t disclose how they make their baked beans. Well, at Fujifilm, we too have our secret sauce, it’s called Barium Ferrite and we’re happy to share our story.

What makes Fujifilm Ultrium LTO-6 and LTO-7 different from past generations of Fujifilm LTO media? The answer is Barium Ferrite, or for you chemistry geeks out there BaFe. Okay, so you are probably asking what does this mean for me? The answer lies in Barium Ferrite magnetic particles. These particles enable higher data density and superior performance. Barium Ferrite allows for LTO-6 and LTO-7 media (and future generations) to have the following extraordinary benefits:

1)   Higher Capacity:A HIGHER SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO ENABLES

USE OF SMALLER PARTICLES RESULTING IN HIGHER CAPACITY

Fujifilm successfully developed a type of BaFe particulate tape with a signal-to-noise ratio that is four decibels higher than that of a commercially available LTO-5 tape at a very high linear density and with a thermal stability sufficient for long-term archiving over at least 30 years. This high recording performance and thermal stability were achieved by using a tape with a smooth surface and highly oriented fine magnetic particles made possible by our Nanocubic coating technology.

Metal Particles (MP Tape) require a protective passivation coating to prevent oxidation.  The passivation layer also limits the reduction of particle size that can be achieved.  BaFe particles are oxides so a passivation layer isn’t needed.  Smaller particles with better stability can be achieved with BaFe.

2)   Longer Archival Life: BARIUM FERRITE IS A CHEMICALLY STABLE

MATERIAL WITH NO MAGNETIC PROPERTY LOSS

Data is growing at an exponential rate and will continue growing for the foreseeable future. You need to manage and store this data without worrying about whether or not it is secure and you will be able to retrieve it at some point in the future. Using media based on Barium Ferrite assures that your data is stored on the most technologically advanced high density media available today.

Fujifilm believes that advanced BaFe particulate tape shows promise for use in future generations of magnetic particulate tape. We expect tape storage systems using BaFe particle media to continue to provide sufficient storage capacity at a low TCO for many years to come. And after that, there will be a new metal particle already under development by Fujifilm called Strontium Ferrite (SrFe) to ensure continuing areal density gains and to meet the demands of future tape roadmaps. But SrFe is a subject for another blog! (more…)

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HDDs Losing Ground to SSD and Tape

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Fred Moore, President
Horison Information Strategies
www.horison.com

Introduction

The traditional storage market is shifting as applications are more effectively exploiting the tiered storage hierarchy to better align availability requirements, service levels, and data protection mandates with the optimal infrastructure cost. Clearly HDDs remain and for the foreseeable future will continue to be the work-horse of the storage hierarchy. They are steadily losing market share for response time critical, high performance applications to the growing deployment of SSD technology while losing many lower activity, archival and resilience applications to significantly improved modern tape technology. The pressure is on the HDD industry and is illustrated by worldwide HDD shipments (data from Statista), which peaked with 651,300 million in 2010 and dropped 35% to 403,710 million in 2017. HDD shipments are predicted to fall to 341,950 million in 2020. Data which in prior years was often stored on HDDs without much thought to storage optimization is now taking up residence elsewhere. As storage pools get larger, the need to optimize storage by getting the right data in the right place also gets larger.

What’s Behind the Shift?

SSDs mean high performance. SSDs have successfully addressed much of the high-performance storage market that was basically the exclusive domain of HDDs. Within the next 12-18 months, solid-state flash arrays currently using 2D NAND are projected to improve in performance by a factor of 10x and double in density and cost-effectiveness as 3D NAND and 3D XPoint technology begins to emerge. This technological progression will significantly change the dynamics of the performance centric storage market. Compared to HDDs, SSDs have higher data-transfer rates, faster access times, better reliability, much lower latency with lower energy consumption. For most users, the consistent and high speed at which SSDs can read and write data and meet service levels is the key attraction. Because SSDs have no moving parts, they can operate at speeds far above those of a typical HDD. Fragmentation is not an issue for SSDs. Files can be written anywhere with little impact on R/W times, resulting in read times far faster than any HDD.

HDDs can handle every data type and have carried the most of load for the storage industry for years, however future challenges for HDDs are mounting. HDDs are increasing in capacity but not in performance as the IOPS (I/Os per Second) for HDDs have basically leveled off. The potential for more concurrently active data sets or files increases as HDD capacity grows and the increased contention for the single actuator arm causes erratic response time delays. Excessive RAID rebuild times are a growing concern and it can now take several days to rebuild a failed HDD in a RAID array degrading performance during the lengthy rebuild period. As HDD capacities continue to increase, total time required for the RAID rebuilding process will become prohibitive for many IT organizations and higher capacity HDDs could force a replacement for traditional RAID architecture implementations. HDD areal density is currently progressing at ~16% annually, about half the rate of tape technology. HDD capacity is often increased by adding more platters as the available surface recording are is squeezed as areal density increases. HDDs have a much higher TCO and use considerably more energy than tape or SSD.

For tape, significant technology improvements over the past 10 years have resulted in a tape renaissance. These changes enable tape to provide the lowest acquisition cost and TCO, the highest capacity, fastest data transfer rates, lowest energy consumption and most reliable storage medium available. Tape reliability has surpassed that of HDDs by three orders of magnitude. Over the last 10 years, LTO tape has increased capacity 1,400%, performance 200%, and reliability 9,900% while modern tape media life now exceeds 30 years. Tape data rates are now nearly 2x faster than HDDs and are projected to be 5x faster by 2025. New features like the Active Archive, RAIT and RAO add significant performance and access time improvements beyond traditional tape. Using tape for cloud archives, rather than HDDs, greatly reduces cloud TCO and creates a “green cloud”. The steady innovation, compelling value proposition and new architectural developments demonstrate tape technology is not sitting still and the renaissance is expected to continue indefinitely.

Summary

A fundamental shift in the storage landscape is well underway as high-performance data moves from HDDs onto flash SSD while lower activity, resiliency and archive data migrate from HDD to modern tape. For the foreseeable future, HDDs will remain the home for many primary storage, mission- critical data along with the highest availability applications, but HDD shipment growth rates have declined nearly 35% since its highpoint in 2013 and projections indicate no signs of ending. As SSDs and tape continue to show rapid improvements and re-balance

the traditional tiered storage hierarchy, HDDs will continue to feel more pressure. The storage squeeze play is underway, and HDDs are caught in the middle.

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Don’t Be Blindsided By Invisible Storage Costs

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In this video, Brad Johns provides the real cost of ownership of your data storage over 10 years and explains why tape is the most affordable option for long-term data storage. Although many companies use a variety of different storage platforms, tape is the most practical and the most affordable for backup and archive.

For one petabyte of raw, non-compressible data, the cost savings versus high capacity disk is about 74% over the course of 10 years; the savings increase to 84% when compared to the cloud.  Brad Johns crunched the numbers and tape is undeniably the cheapest option for long-term storage.

Find out how you can start saving on your data storage costs. Access the free TCO calculator here.

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Why is Microsoft Azure Choosing Tape?

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Listen to Marvin McNett, Principal Developer Manager from Microsoft as he explains the reasons tape is being used today in the Microsoft data center for its archival storage tier. View the video here:

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RAIT Is Gaining Momentum 

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According to the Information Storage Industry Consortium, the total data rate for tape is improving by 22.5% MB/sec per year. One concept that is driving this capacity increase in the tape industry is RAIT (Redundant Arrays of Independent Tape). RAIT is ideal for large files that need massive amounts of throughput such as in a disaster recovery scenario where you need the ability to move your whole data center electronically to another location.

In this video, Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies explains how RAIT works.

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It’s Just a Matter of Time, as Storage Demands Rise

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

I recently returned from a speaking opportunity at the PRISM Conference held in Miami on May 8thand 9th where I spoke on the Role of Tape in Today’s Modern Offsite Storage Center. In addition to holding and protecting valuable data tape cartridges for archive, backup, and disaster recovery applications, offsite vaults also play a crucial role in providing an “air gap” against cyber criminals and their alarming malware and ransomware variants. Because of tape’s powerful value proposition, it provides this functionality particularly well. It’s easily portable, has the lowest total cost of ownership, is the most reliable storage medium today, and has long archival life and high capacity.

The audience, which included many regional data vault service providers from the U.S. and abroad, didn’t have to take my word on the value prop of tape. I backed it up with studies from leading IT research companies and articles from reliable publications such as the Wall Street Journal. I sprinkled in some news about tape usage from folks like Microsoft Azure. Finally, I detailed the bright future tape has based on its ability to continue to increase in areal density which will ensure increasing capacity and cost competitiveness without sacrificing performance, thanks in part to Fujifilm’s Barium Ferrite and Strontium Ferrite magnetic particle technology.

At the end of my presentation, during the Q&A, I got the following response and question: “Tape sounds great, how come we don’t see more tape volume flowing into our vaults?” One reason for this would be the increasing data densities of tape which would reduce unit volumes. Understandably this is not great for the vault service providers, but this is actually a great benefit for end users; they can store more data on fewer units. Another factor to consider is the ever-increasing popularity of cloud storage over say, the past five years. We have seen a move from on-premises, do-it-yourself storage to outsourced cloud services. This is especially true among startups and SMBs and specific verticals where the cloud can provide unique functionality such as compute and file sharing.

But as the world turns ever so slowly, so do market conditions. Now that data storage pros have gotten comfortable with what the cloud can do, they are also starting to understand some of the downsides such as high TCO associated with egress fees and bandwidth. Security concerns might be mounting too in light of escalating cybersecurity breaches.

So at some point, tape will make sense again for many of the folks who tried cloud, considering TCO, budget constraints and the need for air gap. It’s just a matter of time, as long as demand for storage keeps rising based on relentless data growth.  And so long as the hackers don’t quit on the highly profitable multi-trillion dollar business of cybercrime.

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