Top 6 Data Storage Related White Papers Published in 2022

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It seems like 2022 was a busy year in data storage and that was reflected on the white paper and research report front. Below is a compilation of my top 6 favorites from this past calendar year that I am glad to share for easy access. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

 

1. Furthur Market Research on Preserving Enterprise Data

John Monroe, a long-time storage industry expert and Gartner analyst turned independent consultant, published a report in August 2022 entitled, The Escalating Challenge of Preserving Enterprise Data. The report looks at the supply and demand for SSD, HDD and tape technologies from 2022 to 2030. The findings and conclusions in John’s report are surprising to say the least!

Supply and Demand for Storage under Various Growth Assumptions

John estimates that maximum production capacities for enterprise SSDs, HDDs and tape will likely fall short of storage demand if annual data growth exceeds 25% between 2022 and 2030. This scenario is not unlikely, given the historic CAGR of 30.5% between 2010 and 2021. But what is more alarming is that growth rates could easily hit 35%, 40% or even 45% in the years ahead as there appears to be no imminent reduction in the escalating zettabytes that are being generated by the vast networks of data centers, consumers and sensors. In addition, the retention periods for data are extending beyond predictable periods of 5, 10 , 15, or 25 years to “indefinite” in many cases.  Taking a somewhat conservative forecast of 35%, the industry could be facing a shortage of storage capacity on the order of 7.9 ZB by 2030 with an installed base that has ballooned to 62.9 ZB, or 691X compared to 91 exabytes in 2010. Finally, the cost of petabytes delivered in 2030 could exceed a staggering $121 billion, up from $34.6 billion in 2022.

You can read the full report here.

 

2. Accelerated Aging of Vintage Audio Tape – Library of Congress

A research report from August of 2022 entitled, Accelerated Aging of Polyester Based Legacy Audio Magnetic Tape Stock published by the Council on Library and Information Resources, documents the results of a joint research effort between the Preservation Research and Testing Division of The Library of Congress and Fujifilm’s Recording Media Division.

The genesis of the research was a casual “what if” conversation between Library of Congress archivists and Fujifilm data storage team members at a symposium on long term data storage back in 2014. Fujifilm agreed to apply modern data tape testing techniques to vintage audio tape to help the Library develop a better understanding of the physical mechanisms through which magnetic audio tape degrades over time. This is an important issue for The Library as it holds a collection of over a half million audio recordings, much of it dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the main takeaways from this research conducted over many years at our data tape lab in Odawara, Japan is that playable audio tape is not likely to degrade to an unplayable state for up to 100 years if stored at standard room temperature and humidity (68 – 75 degrees F, 30 -60% RH). Prior to this modern accelerated testing, the prevailing guidance was 10 to 30 years of life expectancy. Armed with the new information from this research, institutions involved in preservation of cultural heritage on magnetic tape can better plan how and when they need to migrate this content to modern digital tape formats such as LTO Ultrium or IBM 3592.

To me, this paper speaks to the reliability of tape technology, be it audio, video or data; vintage or modern day.

You can read the full report here.

 

3. Brad Johns Consulting on Sustainability of Tape Systems

A landmark whitepaper published in July of 2021 by Brad John’s Consulting entitled, Improving Information Technology Sustainability with Modern Tape Storage, found that:

  • LTO-8 tape produces 95% less CO2e (CO2e measures CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gasses) than HDD during its lifecycle
  • Electronic Waste (eWaste) at time of disposal at end-of-life is reduced by 80% for 12.0 TB LTO-8 tape compared to 16.0 TB HDD
  • Ten year TCO in this paper shows a 73% reduction for tape compared to HDD
  • Brad also did a “what if” scenario as follows: What if industry best practices were truly observed and 60% of HDD data on a global basis were to be moved to tape systems?
  • 72 million tons of CO2e would be avoided, a 57% reduction compared to keeping all the data on HDD!

2022 Update with 18.0 TB HDD and 18.0 TB LTO-9

In August 2022, Brad Johns Consulting updated his analysis to reflect the latest LTO Gen 9, replacing 12.0 TB LTO-8 with 18.0 TB LTO-9 and replacing 16.0 TB HDD with the latest 18.0 TB HDD. Thanks to the higher capacity of LTO-9, the 2022 Update of Improving Information Technology Sustainability with Modern Tape Storage now shows:

  • LTO-9 tape produces 97% less CO2e than HDD during its lifecycle
  • eWaste at time of disposal is reduced by 85% for 18 TB LTO-9 tape compared to 18TB HDD
  • Ten year TCO in this update now shows a 78% reduction for tape compared to HDD and if 60% of HDD data on a global basis were to be moved to tape systems?
  • 79 million tons of CO2e would be avoided, a 58% reduction compared to keeping all the data on HDD!

Sustainability remains a hot issue (no pun intended) so expect to see the topic even more pronounced throughout 2023 as sustainability is becoming mission-critical for eco-friendly organizations across the globe and in every market vertical from HPC to SMB and beyond.

You can read the full report here.

 

4. Active Archive Alliance Annual Report

The Active Archive Alliance released its 2022 annual report in July 2022 entitled, The Active Archiving Ecosystem: Building a Flexible Archival Repository Your Way, highlighting the increased demand for new data management strategies and the benefits and innovations of active archive solutions. Top innovations within active archiving include Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), sustainability, analytics, and compliance.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Operations (AI/MLOps)

AI/MLOps integrates AI and ML to manage large-scale data storage, including sizeable active archive ecosystems. AI/MLOps monitors and applies predictive analytics on system operations such as storage system utilization, archival data monitoring, and policy-driven data movement. Active archive makers may develop and build AI/ML into their workflows or partner with vendors specializing in archival AI/ML across multi-vendor systems.

Sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, tape storage is particularly suited to saving energy costs. By adding a tape system to the active archiving environment, IT can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions over other types of storage media. Tape can reduce energy consumption by 87% and CO2e emissions by 95% compared to spinning disks on-premises and in the cloud.

Analytics

Analytics software is critical for organizations seeking to understand, manage, and gain value from their data. In archiving, analytics drives data awareness and cost implications of moving data to optimal storage throughout its lifetime. Analytics also plays a mission-critical role in mining business intelligence from archives. For example, more healthcare organizations want to mine archived data to improve patient safety, treatments, and outcomes.

Compliance

Compliance is not only about retention schedules and data protection but also about protecting data accessibility and compliance despite disruptions like changing regulations, acquisitions, or storage system replacements.  Active archiving supports this level of compliance with its virtual repository and close monitoring and analytics. Active archiving also supports legal defensibility by acting as the system of record.

You can read the full report here.

 

5. Horison Information Strategies on Tape Air Gap

Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies published a new white paper in June of 2022 entitled, Tape Air Gap Anchors Security Ecosystems.

No computer system is immune from cybercrime and new types of threats are being discovered every day.  With a cease-fire in the cybercrime war highly unlikely, we are witnessing the rapid convergence of data protection and cybersecurity to counter damaging cybercrime threats and ransomware attacks. Emails deliver most of all cybercrime infections with 96% of phishing attacks arriving by email, initially landing on your computer’s HDDs or SSDs – but not on air gapped (offline) storage devices. In addition to tape’s value to online applications such as an active archive, modern tape is clearly the preferred offline storage technology for today’s data centers. Though tape has been an air gapped technology since its inception, the growing cybercrime wave has positioned air gapped tape storage squarely in the middle of the cyber security ecosystem as data cannot be hacked when stored behind a physical air gap. Today’s most effective cyber security strategies include air gapped tape.

You can read the full report here.

 

6. Tape Storage Council Report on Role of Tape in ZB Era

The Tape Storage Council, (TSC), released its annual report in May 2022 entitled, Tape to Play Critical Roles as the Zettabyte Era Takes Off, which highlights the current trends, usages and technology innovations occurring within the tape storage industry.  The zettabyte era is in full swing generating unprecedented capacity demand as many businesses move closer to Exascale storage requirements. According to the LTO Program, 148 Exabytes (EB) of total tape capacity (compressed) shipped in 2021, marking an impressive record year. With a growth rate of 40%, this strong performance in shipments continues following the previous record-breaking 110 EB capacity shipped in 2019 and 105 EB of capacity shipped in the pandemic affected year of 2020.

The ever-increasing thirst for IT services has pushed energy usage, carbon emissions, and reducing the storage industry’s growing impact on global climate change to center stage. Plus, ransomware and cybercrime protection requirements are driving increased focus on air gap protection measures. As a result of these trends, among others, the TSC expects tape to play an even broader role in the IT ecosystem going forward as the number of exabyte-sized environments grow. Key trends include:

  • Data-intensive applications and workflows fuel new tape growth.
  • Data accessibility. Tape performance improves access times and throughput.
  • Tape should be included in every green data center strategy.
  • Storage optimization receives a big boost from an active archive which provides dynamic optimization and fast data access for archival storage systems.

Organizations continue to invest in LTO tape technology thanks to its high capacity, reliability, low cost, low power consumption and strong data protection features, especially as threats to cybersecurity soar.

You can read the full report here.

Rich Gadomski

Head of Tape Evangelism

As Head of Tape Evangelism for FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc., Rich is responsible for driving industry awareness and end user understanding of the purpose and value proposition of modern tape technology. Rich joined Fujifilm in 2003 as Director of Product Management, Computer Products Division, where he oversaw marketing of optical, magnetic, and flash storage products.

Previously Rich held the position of Vice President of Marketing, Commercial Products, where he was responsible for the marketing of data storage products, value added services and solutions.

Rich has more than 30 years of experience in the data storage industry. Before joining Fujifilm, Rich was Director of Marketing for Maxell Corp. of America where he was responsible for the marketing of data storage products. Prior to that, Rich worked for the Recording Media Products Division of Sony Electronics.

Rich participates in several industry trade associations including the Active Archive Alliance, the Linear Tape-Open Consortium (LTO) and the Tape Storage Council. Rich also manages Fujifilm’s annual Global IT Executive Summit.

Rich holds a BA from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Fordham University.

FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc., is the leading manufacturer of commercial data tape products for enterprise and midrange backup and archival applications and provides long term data storage products and software through its FUJIFILM Data Management Solutions team.