The most recent era of Linear Tape Open (LTO) magnetic tape lastly landed final week, after important delays. However the physique that oversees the know-how has revealed it anticipates a return to its common launch cadence in future.
New generations of LTO tape have traditionally arrived each two to 3 years, however snags within the improvement course of meant it took 4 years for LTO-9 merchandise to hit the cabinets. And that’s regardless of the choice to chop the native capability from 24TB to 18TB.
Nonetheless, a gaggle of spokespeople from IBM, HPE and Quantum (all members of the LTO Program) instructed TechRadar Professional that the LTO-9 delay was an exception to the rule and we are able to anticipate 36TB (LTO-10) cartridges to land sooner moderately than later.
“The necessity to return to the earlier cycle of launch is being emphasised by massive customers who wish to retailer extra information in the identical footprint, and are seeing information development of 35% CAGR or extra,” they stated.
“Distributors can be reviewing the time to market and we anticipate improvement occasions to return to comparable cycles as seen earlier than LTO-9.”
The rise and rise of tape storage
As the amount of information produced worldwide continues to increase at an aggressive charge, the chance to squeeze as a lot efficiency as doable out of tape storage will proceed to be a precedence.
With this in thoughts, not solely does the LTO Program intend to return to its conventional launch cycle, however the group additionally anticipates a return to 100% capability will increase between generations.
“The purpose shouldn’t be solely to stick [to the current roadmap], however to work to satisfy the market demand sooner or later. Aligning to the market is as vital as demonstrating the flexibility to ship know-how or capability on this occasion.”
“100% capability enhancements per era are extremely possible. LTO know-how has been used to reveal a tape density equal to 5 generations of doubling capability; an indication that’s not matched by some other storage know-how accessible right this moment.”
It’s value noting, nonetheless, that it isn’t essentially within the pursuits of the LTO Program to permit the know-how to enhance too rapidly.
Though researchers are making headway with new storage methods (utilizing DNA, glass and holograms) that would rival tape in future, LTO presently has a stranglehold on the archival storage market. In concept, this implies the LTO neighborhood can afford to tug its toes relating to capability will increase, producing a burst of income with every new era as companies scramble to extend their capability per sq. meter.
Whether or not companies will profit from new generations of tape shouldn’t be the query; the LTO Program expects the entire price of possession for early LTO-9 adopters to be 17% decrease than the earlier era. However the market shouldn’t be organized in such a manner as to incentivize speedy innovation, so corporations don’t have any alternative however to depend on the great will of the LTO Program and its members.
Whereas the present roadmap predicts tapes could have a formidable native capability of 144TB by the point LTO-12 rolls round, the projections have been dialled again for the reason that resolution to chop the capability of the most recent tapes. The following era of tapes (LTO-10) had been initially alleged to have a local capability of 48TB, considerably greater than is now projected.