Friday, December 18th 2020

IBM and Fujifilm Set a Record: 580 TB Data Capacity in a Single Cartridge

Magnetic tape storage is one of the oldest technologies used for storing data. The technology was invented way back in 1928, and it is almost 100 years old. By today's standards, the technology is considered to be slow, however, it offers something that no modern HDD or SDD offers. Today, in collaboration with Fujifilm, IBM has developed a Strontium Ferrite (SrFe) magnetic layer for LTO-8 tapes that are capable of storing an amazing 580 TeraBytes of data in a single cartridge. The new technology will enable the modern world to store ever-increasing data sizes we are now counting in zettabytes. To store all of that data, one would need a high-capacity storage device to store all of the "cold data" that doesn't need real-time processing and has information of value.

That is exactly why IBM and Fujifilm have been developing the LTO-8 tape drives that are capable of 580 TB of capacity in a single cartridge. The technology can achieve that capacity thanks to the Strontium Ferrite (SrFe), which is capable of 317Gb/in2 recording density. With 1255 meters of the tape, IBM and Fujifilm have been able to achieve this density metric.
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24 Comments on IBM and Fujifilm Set a Record: 580 TB Data Capacity in a Single Cartridge

#1
kayjay010101
Finally, a way to store Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War on a single storage device
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#2
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
# of books stored is a very 80/90's metric.
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#3
phill
I wonder what the read/write speed of it was... 1255 metres of tape is coming close to a mile... Are we looking at a 5.25" tape size here?? :laugh:
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#4
silentbogo
phill
I wonder what the read/write speed of it was... 1255 metres of tape is coming close to a mile... Are we looking at a 5.25" tape size here?? :laugh:
LTO-7 had around 1km of tape already, so it's definitely the same old ~4" cartridge. Transfer speeds only got a small bump from 300MB/s to 360MB/s raw (uncompressed).
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#5
AnarchoPrimitiv
silentbogo
LTO-7 had around 1km of tape already, so it's definitely the same old ~4" cartridge. Transfer speeds only got a small bump from 300MB/s to 360MB/s raw (uncompressed).
And compressed is even faster at 700 MB/sec...that's actually pretty fast given the medium
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#6
Kohl Baas
phill
I wonder what the read/write speed of it was... 1255 metres of tape is coming close to a mile... Are we looking at a 5.25" tape size here?? :laugh:
The big compromise is not the speed there. Try to imagine the seek time on that 1255m long tape...
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#7
silentbogo
AnarchoPrimitiv
And compressed is even faster at 700 MB/sec...that's actually pretty fast given the medium
I wouldn't count on that, since the typical uses beyond raw video archival is already compressed in 99% of use cases.
Though, those speeds are advertised for normal LTO-8 tapes, so I'm wondering if with higher data density the r/w speed is also higher?... Upcoming LTO standards mention speeds over 1TB/s raw.
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#8
phill
I have an LTO-5 tape drive and tapes at home, I've yet to get them working on the server but I will make sure I get something posted up when I try and do a backup! I understand they are light years behind this tech but still :)

I find this tech fascinating with how it's still used and still one of the most reliable for backing up data.. Crikey, could you imagine doing a backup of Youtube on disks back then and such?? I mean they must have some massive backups somewhere I'd guess... Or would they??
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#9
Jism
phill
I wonder what the read/write speed of it was... 1255 metres of tape is coming close to a mile... Are we looking at a 5.25" tape size here?? :laugh:
Tapes are'nt fast but nor slow either. When you streamline the data as intended it works pretty well.

This offers storage suitable for years really. Tape is still a good alternative for long term data storage.
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#10
R-T-B
Kohl Baas
The big compromise is not the speed there. Try to imagine the seek time on that 1255m long tape...
exactly. Tapes huge drawbacks are not speed, but massive massive seek times. It can be up to a couple dozen seconds from tape end to tape end, in a best case.
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#11
lexluthermiester
kayjay010101
Finally, a way to store Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War on a single storage device
LOL! Let's be fair, no one is playing a game from a tape drive! Just not gonna happen.
Frick
# of books stored is a very 80/90's metric.
Just interestingly still valid.
silentbogo
Transfer speeds only got a small bump from 300MB/s to 360MB/s raw (uncompressed).
AnarchoPrimitiv
And compressed is even faster at 700 MB/sec...that's actually pretty fast given the medium
It should be noted those figures are sequential reads only. Random read functions are measured in minutes.
R-T-B
It can be up to a couple dozen minutes from tape end to tape end, in a best case.
Minutes mate, minutes.
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#12
silentbogo
lexluthermiester
It should be noted those figures are sequential reads only. Random read functions are measured in minutes.
That's not what it's made for, though. Random I/O is probably the last thing people think about when buying a tape drive.
lexluthermiester
Minutes mate, minutes.
Seek speed is much higher than write speed, cause all you do is rewind the tape most of the time. I doubt it changed much over the years. According to spec, rewind speed is around 9-10m/s for LTO-8, which means a full rewind takes around 126s (I'm counting 1255m from the OP). So, the worst case scenario for than new fancy tape is pessimistically 10-15s to initialize after standby, read the index, plus seek from one end to the opposite end, giving us the absolute maximum ~2min 20sec.
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#13
dragontamer5788
silentbogo
Seek speed is much higher than write speed, cause all you do is rewind the tape most of the time. I doubt it changed much over the years. According to spec, rewind speed is around 9-10m/s for LTO-8, which means a full rewind takes around 126s (I'm counting 1255m from the OP). So, the worst case scenario for than new fancy tape is pessimistically 10-15s to initialize after standby, read the index, plus seek from one end to the opposite end, giving us the absolute maximum ~2min 20sec.
www.quantum.com/globalassets/documents/lto-tech-brief.pdf

60-seconds average rewind speed.



Which is roughly in line with your ~120s worst case.
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#14
300BaudBob
So sounds useful for small porn sites needing some cheap daily backup.
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#15
lexluthermiester
silentbogo
That's not what it's made for, though. Random I/O is probably the last thing people think about when buying a tape drive.


Seek speed is much higher than write speed, cause all you do is rewind the tape most of the time. I doubt it changed much over the years. According to spec, rewind speed is around 9-10m/s for LTO-8, which means a full rewind takes around 126s (I'm counting 1255m from the OP). So, the worst case scenario for than new fancy tape is pessimistically 10-15s to initialize after standby, read the index, plus seek from one end to the opposite end, giving us the absolute maximum ~2min 20sec.
All true!
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#16
dragontamer5788
300BaudBob
So sounds useful for small porn sites needing some cheap daily backup.
At 300MB/s, that will take 22 days to write to the 580TBs of space here.

Soooo... more like a monthly backup.
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#17
300BaudBob
dragontamer5788
At 300MB/s, that will take 22 days to write to the 580TBs of space here.

Soooo... more like a monthly backup.
Ok maybe I should have said very small ;)
I remember the good old days days when I could do a full backup to tape in 20 minutes...200MB worth of data wow!
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#18
DeathtoGnomes
I dont remember exactly but didnt tape drives record where the data is on the tape at the beginning of the tape?
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#19
TumbleGeorge
silentbogo
Upcoming LTO standards mention speeds over 1TB/s raw.
1GB/s. You jump from MB/s directly to TB/s LOL! Do you understand how big is difference?
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#20
R-T-B
lexluthermiester
Minutes.
I was just wishing for seconds mentally, lol
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#21
lexluthermiester
dragontamer5788
At 300MB/s, that will take 22 days to write to the 580TBs of space here.

Soooo... more like a monthly backup.
There is no requirement to write it all at once, data can be stored/erased in segments.
R-T-B
I was just wishing for seconds mentally, lol
That would be a very nice and nifty advance for tape storage...
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#22
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
I now know where all those VHS tapes from my childhood went.
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#23
PowerPC
I'll take the cheap data storage, even if it's slow. Speed is what caching was invented for.
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#24
Caring1
More data, no problem, just make the tape bigger. :laugh:

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