FUJIFILM INSIGHTS BLOG

Data Storage

Thoughts on New 12 Generation LTO Tape Road Map

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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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Welcome Letter

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

On behalf of FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc., I want to welcome you to the Fujifilm Insights Blog. Fujifilm Recording Media is the world’s largest manufacturer of data tape – the most reliable storage solution at the lowest total cost of ownership. Our technology is born from decades of experience and a commitment to R&D that has led to breakthrough products.

In today’s world of exponential data growth, it is critical that data is not only stored but truly protected and secured. Our primary goal is to continue to store and protect—well into the future—the world’s data. We do this because we understand that a company’s data is its DNA. However, to achieve this, we will need to continue to respond to present-day data storage challenges and continue to connect with our customers on the latest industry trends and best practices in data storage.

So, what is the best way to communicate year round with data storage professionals across many markets? Do you hold more events, increase social media, or start a YouTube channel?

If you are reading this, then the answer is obvious. We began a blog because it was the most inclusive platform where our content could evolve organically as our industry evolves as well. The Fujifilm Insights Blog will navigate the industry landscape with informative posts covering industry trends, behind the scenes insights, customer Q&A’s, industry influencer interviews, and more.

We look forward to providing industry perspective and thought leadership on a variety of data storage topics and hope you will join in on the conversation as well.

As we grow, we will be looking for new topics and guest contributors in order to continue to create content that interests readers and provides value. What would you like to hear? Let us know.

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Whitehead Institute Cracks the Code on Cost-Effective Storage

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Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned non-profit research institution dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. By cultivating a deeply collaborative culture and enabling the pursuit of bold, creative inquiry, Whitehead fosters paradigm-shifting scientific achievement. For more than 30 years, Whitehead faculty have delivered breakthroughs that have transformed our understanding of biology and accelerated development of therapies for such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and certain cancers.

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