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Storage HPC 2012

Desperately seeking storage

Industry experts discuss the storage landscape in 2012 and beyond

Will ‘Green’ tape take-over? asks Molly Rector, EVP product management and worldwide marketing at Spectra Logic

Savvy data centre managers already know that tapes are less costly to purchase upfront and last longer than disks. But they and others might not be aware of some of the less

obvious cost benefits that this storage solution can bring. Due to tape’s green credentials and the continuing financial austerity measures companies are implementing, we expect to see high growth in the demand for tape over the next few years. As fuel becomes more expensive and

the push for energy efficiency grows, senior managers are demanding cuts in the use of resources and this particularly applies to the data centre, which tends to consume high levels of power. A winning advantage of tape is that while writing data to tape consumes power in the same way as with disks, there is no energy


consumption to maintain the tape aſterwards, unlike disks which need power throughout their life. Tis saving in power costs is very important as it has been estimated that if classified as a stand-alone industry, data centres would be the sixth largest in terms of electricity consumption. According to a Clipper Group report, the

total cost of ownership for disk is more than 15 times higher than tape and uses 238 times more energy over a 12-year period. As a result, many organisations are turning to tape for their backup and storage needs. Due to technological advances

a tape-based storage system is also better value for money as tape lasts much longer and so needs replacing less oſten. With tape, data can be stored, with integrity intact, for up to 30 years and possibly longer, while the life expectancy of disks is usually no more than five years. Financial factors are also driving the use of

in the design of tape and libraries during the past 30 years, tape- users benefit from high levels of performance, scalability and instant access to their data and, furthermore, tape libraries also take up less space for the amount of data stored because of their high density. An investment in

“Savvy data centre managers will already know that tapes are less costly to purchase upfront and last longer than disks”

tape and cost containment remains a significant IT priority as rates of data creation accelerate and energy supplies decrease while demand increases. So aside from tape’s higher data density, longer shelf life, portability for disaster recovery, lower purchase price, ease-of-use through a file-system instead of data written in specific backup

formats, and greater return on investment, we’re confident that with a rising awareness of the importance of green data, interest in tape will continue to grow.


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