The exponential increase in data that accompanies digitization forces many organizations to constantly scale their data archiving systems, which implies a significant acquisition and maintenance cost. But LTO magnetic tape technology provides:
- A much cheaper and more sustainable alternative.
- Allowing historical data and backups to be kept separate from networks.
- Protecting information in the long term while consuming little or no power.
Many organizations must maintain a high-capacity, long-term data archive, permanently protected from potential intrusions and redundant backup systems to provide maximum security and resiliency. Complex drive-based solutions have long been the most common for these uses, but they are expensive and require relatively frequent replacement of storage drives. In addition, they generate energy expenditure, even in a state of inactivity, which raises costs for the organization.
With the rapid progress of digitization, many organizations are receiving a relentless deluge of data, which will continue to increase exponentially in the coming years. This will drive up the cost of many companies’ backup and archiving systems, but there are more efficient alternatives for these use cases, such as LTO magnetic tape storage.
Vendors such as Fujifilm provide next-generation tape storage media, such as LTO-9 cartridges, which provide unmatched capacity and numerous benefits to ensure safe, long-term storage and improve environmental sustainability. These cartridges are technologically more straightforward since they do not require complex systems integrated into HDDs or SSDs, technologies whose manufacturing has a high ecological cost. In addition, tapes remain idle until data access is needed, so they do not consume idle power, unlike electronic media.
The manufacturer Fujifilm continues to improve its magnetic tape technologies to continue doubling the capacity of the cartridges in each generation, meeting the objectives of the roadmap of the LTO Ultrium consortium responsible for developing this technology. And the company is mainly committed to sustainability and has set ambitious targets to meet Sustainable Development Goals.
This is applied to the manufacturing process of the magnetic tape used in its LTO cartridges and used by other large companies in the sector. In addition, its magnetic tape technologies provide a lifespan unmatched in the industry, making it easy for its customers to reduce carbon emissions from the technology they use in data storage.
IDC experts have predicted that the amount of data stored in data centers will grow by around 27% annually through 2025, rapidly increasing the power consumption of computing resources used in data storage. More efficient and sustainable technologies are needed to mitigate this problem, and magnetic tape is presented as the ideal solution for low-availability information storage, such as archives and offline backups.
Fujifilm experts estimate that between 2019 and 2030, 80% of archival data stored on enterprise storage infrastructures and 57% of replicated data stored on the same systems will be migrated to magnetic tape media. With this, a 43.7% reduction in CO2 emissions will be achieved by 2030, equivalent to some 664 million metric tons of carbon, or the greenhouse gas emissions of 144 million cars per year.
Compared to other storage technologies, magnetic tape can reduce carbon emissions by up to 95%, and switching to this type of data storage would allow organizations to reduce the volume of e-waste by 80%. Between 60% and 80% of the information stored in data centers is regarded as cold data, accessed very infrequently. The tape has excellent potential to improve the industry’s sustainability.
All these arguments mean that interest in tape storage is increasing, and experts predict that the market for this technology will continue to grow in the next decade. Although there are voices that question the ability of LTO cartridge providers to meet the doubling of capacity per cartridge proposed in their roadmap for each new generation, the reality is that cartridges will continue to exceed the maximum capacity of HDDs and, Of course, from SSDs.
In addition, different political and economic factors are converging so that companies and data centers are increasingly concerned with sustainability and reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. This, coupled with the need to store long-term protected data for compliance, security, and corporate resiliency issues, will continue to drive the expansion of the tape market in the future.