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Critical Role of Tape in Zettabyte Era

Including for global sustainability and ransomware and cybercrime protections

The Tape Storage Council (TSC) released a report, Tape to Play Critical Roles as the Zettabyte Era Takes Off, highlighting the current trends, usages and technology innovations occurring within the tape storage industry.

Tape Storage Council Role

The zettabyte era is in full swing generating unprecedented capacity demand as many businesses move closer to exascale storage requirements. The 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 an increased focus on air gap protection measures.

Given these trends, the TSC expects tape to play a broader role in the IT ecosystem in the future as the number of exabyte-sized environments grows.

Key trends include:
Favorable economics. Data-intensive applications and workflows fuel new tape growth due to its significant TCO advantages.
Security. Tape’s inherent air gap provides additional levels of cybercrime defense.
Data accessibility. Tape performance improves access times and throughput.
Sustainability. Tape plays a significant role in green data center strategies.
Optimization. Tape-based active archives boost storage optimization, providing dynamic optimization and fast data access for archival storage systems.

Modern tape technology supports reliable, energy-efficient and cost-effective storage solutions and has a potential to address the massive capacity demand of the zettabyte era. Use cases and vertical markets such as big data, cloud storage services, the IoT, healthcare and life sciences, M&E, physical security and surveillance, and sports archives and analytics are thriving in the zettabyte era. These use cases generate amounts of high-value and unstructured data, much of which is stored as archives awaiting future reference, and often benefit from an active archive implementation leveraging high capacity, low-cost tape systems.

LTO Tape Supports Zettabyte Era Growth with Record Capacity Shipments
Organizations continue to invest in LTO due to its capacity, reliability, low cost, low power consumption and data protection features, especially as threats to cybersecurity soar.

According to the LTO Program, 148EB of total tape capacity (compressed) shipped in 2021, marking a record year. With a growth rate of 40%, this performance in shipments continues following the previous record-breaking 110EB capacity shipped in 2019 and 105EB of capacity shipped in the pandemic-affected year of 2020.

The TSC includes representatives of BDT, Cozaint, Detron, Frontier BV, FujiFilm, GazillaByte, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Imagine Products, Insurgo Media, Iron Mountain, MagStor, mLogic, Park Place Technologies, Oracle, Overland-Tandberg, OWC Mercury, PoINT Software & Systems, Qualstar, Quantum, Spectra Logic, StrongBox Data Solutions, StorageDNA, SullivanStrickler, Symply, Turtle, and XenData.