IBM Cloud Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo

Blog Feed Post

What’s Wrong with Tape?

Last week I briefly attended the Tape Summit at IP Expo.  Unfortunately due to other commitments during the day I was only able to join the round-table.  To be fair this was probably the part of the day I most wanted to attend – hearing everyone’s opinion generates much more interest than listening to canned presentations.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know most of the attendees around the table, however it was clear that there were representatives from the tape industry including LTO consortium members and of course our very own Chris Mellor.  A number of things struck me during the conversation.

The Tape Industry is In Denial – Yes it’s true.  The tape industry can’t understand why end users don’t want to use their products.  There are plenty of arguments around tape being cheaper, easier, having better longevity and so on.  But these don’t resonate with end users who don’t want to use tape when there are alternatives.

Tape Still Has a Place - There’s nothing wrong with tape.  It’s a well-proven, reliable long-term data storage medium that continues to evolve.  Admittedly it’s a case of evolution rather than revolution but that doesn’t matter.  Capacities and throughput continue to rise ahead of the capabilities of individual disk drives.

Usability is all Wrong – Almost all of our tape usage today is through proprietary formats.  For a non-portable medium like disk, proprietary formats don’t matter.  The common interface of NFS, Fibre Channel, CIFS or some other format makes the data accessible.  However tape is inherently a portable media format and so the layout of data on tape itself should be  self describing and independent.

Backup Software Vendors are Holding us Back – Yes, by having proprietary formats used to store data on tape that effectively represents the *same* content i.e. files – tape is losing ground to disk.  Tape requires significant effort to migrate from one media format to another.  Disk systems are much more flexible – think how easy it is to move a backup disk storage device from one place to another compared with moving the contents of a tape to a new one.

So how do we fix things?  The problem is how to correct the usability issue.  We need to be able to move data around between media (e.g. tape to tape & tape to disk) without having to use the backup or archive platform on which the data was created.  Yes, the owning platform needs to know about the change in location if it will continue to own it, but we shouldn’t be restricted to storing data on that software platform if we don’t want it there.  Part of this solution therefore means having decent standards – standards for storing backup objects and archive objects that work cross-vendor and cross-platform.  It’s something that perhaps SNIA should be doing.

We do have one independent format and that’s Linear Tape File System – LTFS.  LTFS seems like a great idea.  It creates a self-defining format for data on tape, embedding the data and the index together.  In this way, data can be read by any platform that simply scans the tape.  Using LTFS wouldn’t stop vendors storing the data within files in their own format, but it would at least give us a fighting chance at consistency.

So, end users, tape manufacturers, lobby the backup software manufacturers – some of which are the *same* company (e.g. IBM) and start creating consistent open formats for tape storage and users might start to think that tape was worthwhile and so there might be longevity in your products after all.

Read the original blog entry...

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.