Face it, tape backups aren't going anywhere anytime soon

Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 03:18 PM |
Tagged: tape, backup, sony

Sony has just raised the bar on tape backup after creating a new process which can create strings of uniformly orientated nanocrystals in a layer less than five micrometers thick, giving the tape a storage density of 148 Gb per square inch.  Compare that to the current market standard of 2Gb per square inch on LTO-6 high-end LTO Ultrium tapes.  Unfortunately there are two questions left unanswered by the statement that The Register linked to; what I/O speeds can this media maintain and what its expected lifetime is.

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"Researchers at Sony have developed a new kind of magnetic tape that can store 74 times the data of current designs, dramatically cutting the amount of room needed for backup libraries."

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May 1, 2014 | 05:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's a little bit more data density, and R/W speed than we had back in JR. College with the Commodore PET PC. Its Datasette transferring data at around 50 bytes per second, and 100K bytes per 30 min side. I was sure glad when the trash-80 Mod IIIs arrived with their dual 5 1/4 inch floppy drives. Man the Z80 could fly, them were the days, you could peek and poke that monochrome graphics, right from BASIC, in ASCII, and those dot matrix printers, man the Ink did not cost more than its weight in gold, back then, we had an ink ribbon re-inker and used the cartridges till they broke down! No DRM, or funny chips in them cartridges, telling you they was out of ink, when they was still 1/3 full. Most all computer art was ASCII art back in them days.
We still had punch cards and batch processing to the mainframe, but the PC was where the new fun was, not like now with all that closed ecosystem crApp store stuff of today, we used to roll are own in BASIC, or got to Know our mnemonics and got right next to the metal, PCs used to come with complete manuals, including complete hardware schematics, but not in today's finger flicking, screen smudging, selfie shooting, narcissistic world.

May 1, 2014 | 05:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Meanwhile HAMR is only expected to take us to 60TB.

Goddamn it tape.

May 1, 2014 | 07:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

60TB per what, what metric, the head of a pin, a flea's willywang? It's long term backup we are talking with tapes here, not paged memory! Spinning rust is good for some things, like webpage serving and such, but disks are overkill for longterm storage. Uber-large data sets can live fine on tape, and when the data is needed can be reloaded back onto disks, if the data needs to be accesed in a non-sequential manner later. HAMR could work in tapes favor also, and tape heads can and do have more than one read/write head per track, so getting that data back onto disk/s can be PDQ with enough read write heads(8, 16, 32, more). It all depends on the access needs long term, short term, sequential or random.

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