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Hollywood Rebound and the 7 Starring Roles of LTO Tape

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July 14, 2021

By Tony Ling, Director of Sales, Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

After the initial shock and disruption of the pandemic, one industry that has rebounded nicely is the world of Media & Entertainment (M&E). Hollywood, video production, and post-production companies have adapted to making films in a COVID environment. At the same time, streaming grew significantly with most of the population homebound. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Paramount all reported record subscriber growth over the last 15 months…..driving up the demand for new and original content.

Today, the retention and accessibility of digital assets and video content are incredibly vital to maintaining a competitive advantage. As a result, many modern M&E companies continue to assign starring roles to LTO data tape in their workflows to combat the rising expense associated with retaining and protecting capacity-intensive high-res content. 4K, 8K, 3D, and special effects can result in petabytes of storage for a single production!

With its high capacity, reliability, interchangeability, and security, the industry standard for deliverables has long been LTO tape…..this could be anything from daily camera footage, to post/edited work, approval copies, second copies, versions, final product, archival copies, etc. LTO tape is truly a defacto standard and an accepted part of the workflow in the M&E world.

Why are leading M&E companies turning to tape?

More M&E companies are recognizing 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. Tape’s starring roles include:

  • Extremely cost-effective with the lowest TCO in the industry
  • Highly reliable with best in class bit error rates
  • Secure with drive encryption and ease of offline storage to prevent cybercrime
  • Portable for file sharing between locations
  • Scalable to extremely large capacities with LTO-8 cartridge capacity now at 12.0 TB native and LTO-9 coming soon at 18.0 TB
  • Open LTFS standard to allow for easy interchange of files
  • Eco-friendly consuming 87% less energy than equal amounts of HDD

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.

So, the next time you are streaming Star Trek Discovery on Paramount+ or The Mandalorian on Disney+, just remember that somewhere along the way of the making of that show, an LTO tape played a starring role!

 

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Is Online Object Storage Really Immune to Ransomware? Achieving True Object Storage Immutability with Tape

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April 13, 2021

By Chris Kehoe, Head of Infrastructure Engineering, FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

Object storage has many benefits. Near infinite capacity combined with good metadata capabilities and low cost have propelled it beyond its initial use cases of archiving and backup. More recently, it is being deployed as an aid to compute processing at the edge, in analytics, machine learning, disaster recovery, and regulatory compliance. However, one recent paper perhaps got a little over-enthusiastic in claiming that disk-based object storage provided an adequate safeguard against the threat of ransomware.

The basic idea proposed is that ransomware protection is achieved by having multiple copies of object data protecting against that kind of intrusion. If the object store suffers ransomware incursion, the backup is there for recovery purposes. The flaw in this logic, however, is that any technology that is online cannot be considered to be immune to ransomware. Unless it is the work of an insider, any attempt at hacking must enter via online resources. Any digital file or asset that is online – whether it stored in a NAS filer, a SAN array, or on object storage – is open to attack.

Keeping multiple copies of object storage is certainly a wise strategy and does offer a certain level of protection. But if those objects are online on disk, a persistent connection exists that can be compromised. Even in cases where spin-down disk is deployed, there still remains an automated electronic connection. As soon as a data request is made, therefore, the data is online and potentially exposed to the nefarious actions of cybercriminals.

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Fujifilm’s Tape Evangelist on The Future of Tape Storage

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December 18, 2020

In this Executive Q&A, Rich Gadomski, Fujifilm’s Head of Tape Evangelism, discusses the evolution of tape storage and how recent innovations and advancements in tape technology are putting it at center stage.

Explain your role as Tape Evangelist for FUJIFILM Recording Media, U.S.A.

I believe tape technology has a compelling value proposition and a great story to tell. I want to be focused on telling that story and that is my primary role. Of course, it takes a team and we all do our part, but this is what I’m passionate about and want to focus on.

How has the tape storage industry changed over the years?

Tape technology has come a long way since its introduction in the 1950s where we had reel-to-reel tape that could hold just a few megabytes of data. Today we have LTO tape in the market at 12 TB native and enterprise tape at 20TB. Just looking at LTO which came out 20 years ago, it was LTO Gen 1 in 2000 with 100GB of capacity. We expect LTO-9 soon at 18TB so a 180x increase. And just recently we announced a joint demonstration with IBM showing that we can reach up to 580 TB on a single cartridge with our next generation of magnetic particle called Strontium Ferrite. But it’s not just about capacity increases, tape has also made advancements in transfer rate, now faster than HDD, reliability rating, now three or four magnitudes better than HDD and it’s the greenest form of storage consuming far less energy than constantly spinning HDD and this contributes to its lowest total cost of ownership. But today it’s not about tape vs. HDD, in fact, the two technologies complement each other to help customers optimize their data storage.

Why is tape storage still relevant today? What is driving demand for this technology?

I would say first and foremost the incredible amount of data that’s being created in this digital economy. Add to the fact that the value of data is increasing so we want to store more of it for longer periods of time. Yet, IT budgets are flat or barely increasing, so you need a high capacity, highly reliable storage media that is cost-effective for long-term storage and that’s what tape gives you. So tape plays a role in cold archiving, active archiving and yes, backup as well. In fact, tape has renewed interest from customers in the fight against cybercrime and ransomware since customers can easily backup to tape and remove those backups from the network to an isolated and secure location that hackers can’t get to. That’s what we refer to as the tape air gap. Last but not least is energy consumption. Society is rightfully concerned about climate change. Tape consumes 87% less energy than disk and that leads to 87% less CO2 emissions.

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Managing the Archival Upheaval

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October 7, 2020

Relentless digital data growth is inevitable as data has become critical to all aspects of human life over the course of the past 30 years and it promises to play a much greater role over the next 30 years. Much of this data will be stored forever mandating the emergence of a more intelligent and highly secure long-term storage infrastructure. Data retention requirements vary widely based on the type of data, but archival data is rapidly piling up everywhere. Digital archiving is now a key strategy for larger enterprises and has become a required discipline for hyperscale data centers.

Many data types are being stored indefinitely anticipating that its potential value will eventually be unlocked. Industry surveys indicate nearly 60% of businesses plan to retain data in some digital format 50 years or more and much of this data will never be modified or deleted. For many organizations, facing terabytes, petabytes and potentially exabytes of archive data for the first time can force the redesign of their entire storage strategy and infrastructure. As businesses, governments, societies, and individuals worldwide increase their dependence on data, data preservation and archiving has become a critical IT practice. Fortunately, the required technologies are now available to manage the archival upheaval.

For more information, check out this Horison Information Strategies White Paper “Managing the Archival Upheaval.”

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Why are Two Thirds of Organizations Failing to Backup and Archive Correctly?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

September 9, 2020

By Rich Gadomski, Tape Evangelist, Fujifilm Recording Media, U.S.A., Inc.

You would think, by now, that backup best practices would have moved into the same category as filling up the tank before a long drive or looking each way before crossing the street. But a new study indicates that most organizations continue to get it fundamentally wrong. How? By continuing to backup long-inactive data that should have been archived instead of remaining in the backup schedule.

The 2020 Active Archive Alliance survey found that 66% of respondents were still using backup systems to store archive data. What’s wrong with that?

  • It greatly lengthens backup windows: Repeatedly backing up unchanging archive data wastes storage resources and adds time to the backup process
  • As data sets grow, a failure to distinguish between backup and archiving becomes increasingly expensive in terms of disk space
  • Even those offloading backups to cheap cloud resources are still running up a large bill over time by unnecessarily backing up cold data
  • Archiving, on the other hand, frees up expensive capacity by moving less frequently used data to more cost-effective storage locations.


Clearing Up Backup Confusions

One of the underlying reasons for this is a confusion between backup and archiving. Backup provides a copy of organizational data for use in recovery from a data loss incident, cyberattack or disaster. These days, it is generally copied onto disk or tape and either retained there or relayed to the cloud. A key point is that backup only copies data, leaving the source data in place. It is also used to restore lost or deleted files rapidly.

Archiving is a different concept entirely. Rather than copying data, it moves data classed as inactive to a more cost-effective tier of storage such as economy disk or tape. This frees up space on higher-tier storage systems such as fast disk or flash. In addition, it shortens the backup window and offers permanent and long-term protection from modification or deletion of data.

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A New Age Dawns for Digital Archives: 2020 State of Industry Report

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August 12, 2020

The Active Archive Alliance recently released its 2020 Active Archive and the State of the Industry Report, which highlights the increased demand for new data management strategies as well as benefits and use cases for active archive solutions.

Here are a few takeaways from the report:

  • Today’s data demands an intelligent archive solution that leverages the advanced capabilities of data movement technology and scale-out hardware to realize its fast-increasing value.
  • The growing reliance on archival data makes it ground zero for unlocking game-changing data strategies.
  • New applications, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) with billions of nodes and boosted by the arrival of 5G networks, will help fuel insatiable demand for more intelligent active archives.
  • Key usage cases for active archiving tell the real story, starting with healthcare and high-performance computing (HPC) in life sciences.
  • Other top use cases include security, business efficiency and continuity, media and entertainment, and IoT, including autonomous vehicles.

Sponsors of the report include Active Archive Alliance members Atempo, Fujifilm Recording Media USA, IBM, Iron Mountain, Harmony Healthcare IT, MediQuant, PoINT Software & Systems, Quantum, Qumulo, QStar Technologies, Spectra Logic, StrongBox Data Solutions and Western Digital.

You can read the full report here.

For more information on the Active Archive Alliance visit: www.activearchive.com.

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Archive Massive Amounts of Data in This Era of Object Storage

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Kevin Benitez

June 25, 2020

Data is quickly becoming a critical asset to more and more companies, and now those companies are looking for ways to store massive amounts of data for long periods of time at a low cost for digital preservation or archiving.

Today, large amounts of archived data are being stored in object storage at an ever-increasing rate, both on-premise and in remote data centers such as the cloud.  Object storage has been particularly attractive for storing large amounts of digital information because of its flat architecture and easy access to metadata that allows for easy indexing, finding, and using of digital content. Additionally, object stores can scale to hundreds of petabytes in a single namespace without any performance degradation.

With those needs in mind, Fujifilm has developed the FUJIFILM Object Archive, which allows object storage to be written and read to and from data tape instead of mainstream HDDs, thereby significantly reducing costs. FUJIFILM Object Archive uses OTFormat to leverage object storage and modern tape. The software uses an industry-standard S3-compatible API so that on-premises object storage can be used at a lower cost while maintaining the same operability as cloud storage.

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Containing the Archival Avalanche

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Relentless digital data growth is inevitable as data has become critical to all aspects of human life over the course of the past 30 years. Newly created worldwide digital data is expected to grow at 30% or more annually through 2025 mandating the emergence of an ever smarter and more secure long-term storage infrastructure. Data retention requirements vary widely, but archival data is rapidly piling up. Digital archiving is now a required discipline to comply with government regulations for storing financial, customer, legal and patient information. Most data typically reach archival status in 90 days or less, and archival data is accumulating at over 50% compounded annually.

Many data types are being stored indefinitely anticipating that eventually its potential value might be unlocked. Industry surveys indicate nearly 60% of businesses plan to retain data in some digital format 50 years or more and a growing amount of archival data will never be modified or deleted. For most organizations, facing terabytes, petabytes and even exabytes of archive data for the first time can force the redesign of their entire storage strategy and infrastructure. As businesses, governments, societies, and individuals worldwide increase their dependence on data, archiving and data preservation become a critical practice.

It’s time to develop your game plan! Check out this white paper from Horison Information Strategies to learn more.

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The Cost Viability of Tape for Data Protection and Archive

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The most efficient data protection utilizes proper archiving, and with the data growth rate almost doubling, tape storage is growing from an archiving standpoint. In this Fujifilm Summit video, Dr. James Cates, SVP of Archive Development at Oracle, discusses the advantages of tape for archiving. Watch it 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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