New magnetic tape storage record aims at cloud, big data

New magnetic tape storage record aims at cloud, big data

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

The record areal density – more than 20 times that of current state-of-the-art commercial tape drives – was achieved on a prototype sputtered magnetic tape developed by Sony. This latest milestone has the potential to store 330 terabytes of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge that would fit in the palm of a hand.

Tape storage, says IBM, is currently the most secure, energy efficient, and cost-effective solution for storing enormous amounts of back-up and archival data, including for new applications like big data and cloud computing. As a result, magnetic tape data storage is currently experiencing a “renaissance.”

“Tape has traditionally been used for video archives, back-up files, replicas for disaster recovery and retention of information on premise, but the industry is also expanding to off-premise applications in the cloud,” says IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou. “While sputtered tape is expected to cost a little more to manufacture than current commercial tape that uses barium ferrite (BaFe), the potential for very high capacity will make the cost per terabyte very attractive, making this technology practical for cold storage in the cloud.”

Several new technologies were involved in achieving the latest advancement. These include new noise-predictive detection signal-processing algorithms for the data channel, advanced servo control technologies enabling more accurate head positioning, and low-friction tape head technology that allows the use of very smooth tape media.

For more, see “201 Gb/in2 Recording Areal Density on Sputtered Magnetic Tape.”

IBM: Advanced tape technologies

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