FUJIFILM INSIGHTS BLOG

Data Storage

The Essential Role of Data Tape

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By Rich Gadomski

April 9, 2020

We are living in unprecedented times, but as we navigate through this global crisis together, data storage managers can continue to count on tape to store and protect their data. Just recently, the State of Massachusetts deemed FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A’s  Bedford manufacturing facility as an essential business amidst statewide COVID-19 shutdowns.  Indeed, data tape is essential in the battle against this pandemic.

Did you know that hundreds of healthcare providers, Federal Government agencies, pharmaceuticals, and researchers rely on modern data tape as a key component in their data retention and protection strategy, including business continuity and disaster recovery? Household names like the CDC, NIH, FDA, United Health, Novartis, Merck, Pfizer, MIT, Regeneron, Gilead, and many more. And we can’t forget about the hyperscalers that provide tape-based data storage services to thousands more in the healthcare-related industries.

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Covid-19 Update from Peter Faulhaber, Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A. President and CEO

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March 25, 2020

To Our Valued Customers:

First and foremost, I trust that you and your family are well during this unprecedented pandemic.

On March 23, 2020, Charles D. Baker, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, issued COVID-19 Executive Order No. 13.  The Executive Order requires all businesses and organizations that do not provide “Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon.

Fujifilm is deemed to provide Essential Services and is therefore authorized under the Executive Order to continue operations at its Bedford, Massachusetts facility. Specifically, Fujifilm’s Bedford facility provides services that fall under the Communications and Information Technology category set forth in the Executive Order.

While our Bedford manufacturing facility remains open and operational, I can assure you that the Fujifilm management team is taking all necessary actions and precautions to ensure the health and safety of our workers during these unprecedented times.

Accordingly, and pursuant to Section 1 of the Executive Order, Fujifilm has put measures in place to ensure workers comply with social distancing protocols and good hygiene practices consistent with Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s guidance. In addition, to help minimize the time that our workers are away from home, we are reducing the number of our weekly production days during the period from March 24th to April 7th or until further instructed by Executive Order. We appreciate your understanding and patience if this results in longer than normal lead times to fulfill your orders.

These are challenging times for all of us. Our workers and their families, our communities, and our local businesses are all being affected and forced to adapt to this evolving crisis. At Fujifilm, we remain optimistic and focused. We are committed to working through each challenge safely and persevering through adversity so that we can continue to deliver innovative products and solutions to you, our valued customers, and provide a safe working environment for our team.

We continue to regularly monitor this ever-evolving situation, and will continue to comply with all advisories and mandates from the federal and state governments.  Should you have any questions or need further information, please contact me or your FUJIFILM Sales Representative.

We wish you and your families good health.

Sincerely,

Peter Faulhaber
President and CEO
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

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LTO-8 Delivers!

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By Rich Gadomski

March 19, 2020

As LTO-8 drives and media are increasingly deployed and widely available, the value proposition of LTO-8 is being confirmed by customers and it’s a pretty impressive story.

In the case of a major high-performance computing (HPC) customer who had been using LTO-6 previously for their archive, the jump to LTO-8 has done wonders for their available capacity. With approximately 7,000 slots in their library, fully loaded with LTO-6 media at 2.5TB each yielded a total native storage capacity of 17.5 PB. Migrating to LTO-8 drives and eventually converting those slots to LTO-8 media at 12.0 TB gives them up to a massive 84 PBs, almost a 5X increase. That’s lots of room to scale as needed!

Performance also gets a big boost as LTO-6 drives are rated at 160 MB per second transfer rate compared to LTO-8 drives at 360 MB per second. This means fewer drives are required to meet the same performance objectives. As a result, TCO also gets a major boost as fewer drives, fewer pieces of media and no additional floor space or library frames are required to manage the same amount of data.

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Whiteboard Video: The Advantages of Migrating Tape Technologies

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Migrating from one generation to another generation of tape technology may seem like a difficult task. In practice, though, tape migration is relatively straightforward and provides tremendous ROI thanks to each generation’s increase in performance and capacity.

In this video, George Crump of Storage Switzerland talks to Alan Hall of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about the advantages of migrating to tape.

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The True TCO of Your Data Storage

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When it comes to data storage spending, knowing your total cost of ownership (TCO) is key. In this video, George Crump, lead analyst at Storage Switzerland talks with Brad Johns of Brad Johns Consulting about the key factors to consider when it comes to TCO. This includes CapEx costs such as hardware and license fees; OpEx costs such as energy, network costs, staff needed to manage the storage; and technology upgrades/new equipment over time. They also discuss how to use a free TCO Calculator to calculate 5- and 10-year scenarios for the Total Cost of Ownership when using automated tape storage, disk-based and cloud-based archive storage.

View the full video and access the free TCO Calculator here: https://datastorage-na.fujifilm.com/tco-tool/

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Is it Time for Capacity-Based Licensing to Go Away?

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IT organizations hate licensing software based on capacity. They despise it with a passion for the simple reason that data is growing exponentially, a fact over which they often have little or no control. What rankles them is software licensing that continuously increases in price as the amount of stored data grows. Customers are already paying for the actual storage devices to house the data. But capacity-based software metering means they have to pay for it over again and again and again. It has become common for software licensing to cost more than the actual storage many times over. That doesn’t strike most people as a fair bargain. The software is not working any harder, but the price goes up like clockwork every month or year depending on the subscription frequency and data growth. It’s maddening to the extreme, and IT departments are screaming that it’s unsustainable.

For more information on this topic, check out this white paper: The Atrociously Unfair Data Capacity Tax.

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Taking a Look Back and Forward at Tape Storage Trends

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By Peter Faulhaber

Last year was full of key milestones for the tape storage industry. The cost per terabyte and total cost of ownership (TCO) improved for tape-based storage and archive; tape became firmly entrenched in all of the major U.S. hyperscale data centers; and the tape “air gap” continued to be a compelling tool in combating cybercrime.

As we begin 2020, we expect even further momentum and demand for tape storage as data growth continues on an explosive path and new storage architectures and emerging technologies place increased demands on the need for more effective data management.

Here are a few of my predictions for the storage market in 2020:

  • Software-defined tape for object storage will emerge as a popular solution, providing the interface to download data from object storage systems to compatible tape systems using standard S3 APIs. Users will be able to write objects directly to tape in native form, in a self-describing, open format.  As a result, object storage users can leverage the value proposition of tape including lowest TCO, reliability and long term archivability.

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Combining the Best of Flash + Tape for the Ultimate Active Archive

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In this video, Khanh Ngo, IBM Spectrum Archive Development, demonstrates how combining flash and tape can deliver both high performance and high capacity storage at a low cost. Keeping just a small amount of archival data on IBM Flash Systems will accelerate restore time while placing the bulk of the data on IBM Tape using IBM Spectrum Archive Enterprise Edition lowers overall storage costs. Take a look and see why IBM is calling flash and tape the “dynamic duo”  in this high tech active archive set-up…

 

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Maximize The ROI of your Archive with LTFS Tape

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Intelligent, Automatic Storage Archiving with LTFS Tape
By fusing high-performance disk with Linear Tape File System (LTFS) tape archive technology, StrongLink LTFS delivers a perfect blend of economy and performance in one simple solution. (more…)
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Tape Storage Council: Tape Takes Aim on Unprecedented Data Growth

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The Tape Storage Council has released its State of the Tape Industry report, which highlights the current trends, use cases, and technology innovations occurring within the tape storage industry.
With its unique benefits, tape has the greatest potential to address today’s soaring capacity demands. The role tape serves in modern data centers is quickly expanding into new markets as compelling technological advancements have made tape the most economical, highest capacity, and the most reliable and secure storage medium available.

Highlights of the report include:

  • New enterprise tape drive
  • Tape Roadmaps – LTO roadmap extended to Generation 12
  • Tape TCO calculators
  • Active Archives – addressing complexity with an intelligent data management layer
  • Growing tape capacities and data rates
  • RAIT improvements to throughput; Fault tolerance
  • RAO and TAOS – improving tape file access times
  • Key applications and demand drivers
  • Tape use cases and compelling value proposition
To access the full report, click here.
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