Thursday, October 29, 2015

LTO-7 Tape Storage Comes to Market 6TB native / 15TB compressed

The latest LTO Generation 7 tape drives that will soon be available from IBM, Quantum and HP. Sporting a native capacity of 6TB per cartridge and a data transfer rate of 300 MB per second, the new LTO 7 drives and media offer twice the capacity and performance of LTO 6 gear, and present a bargain for those demanding low-cost, long-term retention of massive datasets. The plan calls for a doubling of capacity and performance every generation for LTO 8 through LTO 10.

The main difference with LTO 7 is we have doubled the number of heads on the drive, with LTO 5 and 6, we had 16 heads, so we were writing 16 channels. With LTO 7, we doubled that to 32 channels, so we are reading and writing more data.

All that data storage capacity is being gobbled up by customers. More than 4.5 million LTO drives have shipped since the program began over a decade ago, and HP is now shipping 7,000 PB of LTO cartridge capacity per quarter. Much of the demand is coming from the media and entertainment industry, which seems to love the ease of data access that LTFS, the file system created to ride atop tapes, brings to the table.

We are seeing huge increases in the content [media and entertainment companies] are creating with 4K video and now 8K video coming out, the amount of data they're generating is unbelievable. Before you had one or two cameras, but now they have GoPro cameras everywhere, and they want to keep that footage forever basically.

A similar story is playing out in the video surveillance, healthcare, and oil and gas markets, we're seeing video surveillance everywhere and data being kept for longer times. And it's no good to have cameras where you can't see the people, so they're getting more high definition in video surveillance cameras and more cameras everywhere.

With all that data piling up, the odds of encountering an error when writing data goes up. But with LTO 7, the error rate has gone down significantly--to approximately one error in 10 to the 19th bits, which is 100 times better than LTO 6. That is over 4X better than a hard drive. When you have a big customer who is writing petabytes of data, then it makes a difference to have an error occurring in 10 to the 19th bit instead of 10 to the 15th bit, like hard drives have.

All this data storage capacity may be overkill for some, which generally aren't going to use LTO 7 for long-term storage of unstructured data, such as video or still images. Instead, typically use LTO drives to back up their database and applications. But when you can store 15TB of compressed data on a single $40-LTO 7 cartridge, and that cartridge can sit on a shelf for years before being called into action, it can be hard to turn down.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ATTO Desklink Devices Enable Mobile 8K Thunderbolt Workflows

With portable 6K and 8K digital cinema cameras now becoming more readily available, field production can generate staggering amounts of data—all of which needs to be archived on-site before being transferred to the studio for editing and finishing. But the mobile computers used for this purpose have traditionally provided limited performance, along with connectivity options that fail to meet the bandwidth needs of the Ultra High-definition formats now in use by media professionals. Additionally, there is a need to connect mobile computers to high-performance networks and storage to facilitate extended, collaborative workflows.
ATTO's Thunderbolt technology-enabled ThunderLink and ThunderStream Desklink Devices provide access to LTO tape storage devices for data migration between field and studio. They also bring high throughput (20 Gbps) and versatility to creative professionals who need access to external storage and networks for I/O demanding applications, including 8K/4K Ultra High-definition video workflows. With Desklink devices, a single Thunderbolt cable can provide connectivity to 10Gb Ethernet, 16 Gb Fibre Channel, 6Gb SAS, and DisplayPort, as well as high-end external GPUs.