The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Corporation and Quantum, released their annual tape media shipment report, detailing year-over-year shipments. The report showed a record 108,457 petabytes (PB) of total tape capacity (compressed) shipped in 2017, an increase of 12.9 percent over the previous year.
“This year, we’ve seen a rising interest in tape technology from a variety of industries – particularly from those who prioritize protecting their important data from ransomware attack and who require solutions for long-term data retention,” said Chris Powers, Vice President HPE Storage, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “With our recent announcement of the updated LTO technology roadmap, we expect to see the amount of capacity shipped continue to grow year-over-year as we provide customers with a cost-effective and secure data storage solution.”
To put this immense amount of tape capacity into perspective, two PB of data is equivalent to roughly the amount of information in all United States’ research libraries1. Multiply that number by 54,228 for a better understanding of the massive amount of data capacity shipped in 2017!
With new LTO-8 technology specifications designed to enable customers to store up to 30 TB of compressed capacity,2 and the LTO-7 cartridge initialized as Type M media giving customers the opportunity to write 9 TB (22 TB compressed2) on a brand new LTO-7 cartridge using LTO-8 drives, 2018 media capacity shipments are expected to soar as tape users migrate to these newer technologies. The increased adoption of LTO-7 technology also remains a key contributor to this capacity increase.
“Many organizations continue to rely on tape for their long-term archive and high-capacity, low-cost data storage needs,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Director, IDC. “Moreover, having tape as part of a backup strategy can provide an ‘air gap’ to help protect against data loss due to ransomware. The higher capacity, faster throughput of the new LTO-8 technology offers continued price-to-performance gains for organizations using tape in their data centers.”
Media unit shipments in 2017 reflect a small decrease over the prior year, which is typical as the market anticipates the introduction of the new LTO-8 generation. The year-over-year unit shipments are offset by the total capacity shipped in the same period, indicating that tape usage is migrating to higher capacity LTO-7 technologies.
The LTO Program will continue to produce annual shipment reports for tape media, which are available for download from the LTO Program website, www.lto.org.
2Assuming a 2.5:1 compression achieved with larger compression history buffer available beginning with LTO generation 6 drives.