We never tire of reading media and analysts reports about our technology, and both a recent IDC report and a blog by Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor, make it very clear: LTO is the champ of tape formats.
LTO today commands 87.2% of the tape cartridge market (excluding mainframe-oriented formats), blogged Simpson, drawing upon tape media market research from the Santa Clara Consulting Group (SCCG). Not surprisingly, the surge in LTO cartridge shipments is largely due to the popularity of the newest generation of the format – LTO-5. (Our Pro-Cache5 archive appliance was one of the first LTO-5 devices on the market when it debuted at NAB 2010.) Shipments of LTO-5 cartridges doubled in Q4 vs. Q3 (as was the case in Q3 vs. Q2), but shipments of LTO-4 tape cartridges were up in the fourth quarter, too.
The recent IDC report (Top 10 Storage Predictions for 2011) notes “the market (including many cloud-based storage service providers) has recognized that tape must play an important role in providing a way to store data efficiently and effectively.”
We continue to see that the large volumes of data that need to be stored for long-term archiving will drive users to leverage tape as a less expensive alternative to disk for infrequently accessed data.
The pace of data creation is not slowing down — and with 3D technology, it is increasing even more — creating new challenges for companies of all sizes. The data needs to be stored, which implies more disk drives, more data center space and more energy being used. Once all of this data is stored, it needs to be protected, and as the data sets get larger and larger, using traditional methods for data protection become cumbersome — to say the least.
All of this data that has been created and now stored represents some intrinsic business value, particularly for the media & entertainment industry, and there continues to be an increased demand for a way to extract that value in a consistent and timely manner. Many organizations will buckle under the weight of this data and the associated costs of storing, protecting and accessing it when needed unless they find cost-effective ways to store their digital assets. Storing this data on disk quickly becomes inefficient, complex and risks the worst case of not being able to access it in the future.
We like how noted storage analyst Fred Moore, president of Horison, summed it up: “The 21st century data explosion is here – and tape is well-positioned to become the digital curator of the information age.” We believe that is a fitting role for LTO-5 and the generations to come.