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  • Bradley Johns

A view into the future

Making storage decisions often requires an estimate of where the underlying technology is going. It’s a bit like driving on a foggy night, at times the visibility is pretty good, and at other times, it is difficult to see ten feet in front of you. The last thing any decision maker wants to do is place an organizations data on a storage technology that is coming to a dead end. Yesterday, IBM cleared some of the fog away, and provided an exciting view of tape storage technology. Working in conjunction with Fujifilm, they demonstrated an areal recording density of 123 billion bits of uncompressed data per square inch on low cost, particulate magnetic tape. This translates into an estimated tape cartridge capacity of 220 TB, or roughly 88 of today’s LTO Generation 6 tape. It’s a long way from the lab to commercial availability, but with this kind of visibility into the potential for tape storage, storage decision makers can look well down the road and see that tape storage is likely to remain the lowest cost storage technology for the foreseeable future.

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