Exclusive: Next-gen 36TB tape will land sooner rather than later

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The latest generation of Linear Tape Open (LTO) magnetic tape finally landed Last week, after a long delay. But the body that oversees the technology has revealed that it expects to return to its regular release cadence in the future.

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New generations of LTO tape historically arrived every two to three years, but interruptions in the development process meant that it took four years for LTO-9 products to reach shelves. And this is despite the decision to reduce the native capacity from 24TB to 18TB.

However, a group of spokespersons from IBM, HPE and Quantum (all members of the LTO program) pointed out that Nerdshala Pro That LTO-9 delay was the exception to the rule and we can expect 36TB (LTO-10) cartridges to land sooner rather than later.

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“The need to return to the previous cycle of releases is being emphasized by larger users who want to store more data in the same footprint, and are seeing data growth of 35% CAGR or more,” he added.

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“Vendors will review timing to market and we expect development timing to return to comparable cycles as seen prior to LTO-9.”

The rise and rise of tape storage

As the amount of data produced around the world continues to expand at an aggressive rate, the opportunity to squeeze as much performance out of tape storage as possible will continue to be a priority.

With this in mind, the LTO program not only intends to return to its traditional release cycle, but the organization also expects a return to 100% capacity growth across generations.

“The goal is not just to follow [to the current roadmap], but to work to meet the market demand in the future. Keeping pace with the market is just as important as demonstrating the technology or capability to deliver in this instance. “

“One hundred percent capacity improvement per generation is highly possible. LTO technology has been used to display tape densities equivalent to five generations of doubling capacity; a performance that is not matched by any other storage technology available today. “

However, it is worth noting that allowing technology improvements is not necessarily in the interest of the LTO program. very Quickly.

Although researchers are making progress with new storage techniques (Using DNA, Glass and Holograms) which may rival tape in the future, LTO currently has a strong hold on the archival storage market. In theory, this means the LTO community could afford to drag its feet when capacity increases, generating an explosion of revenue with each new generation as businesses scramble to increase their capacity per square meter.

Whether businesses will benefit from new generations of tape is not a question; The LTO program expects the total cost of ownership for early LTO-9 adopters to be 17% lower than the previous generation. But the market is not organized in a way that encourages rapid innovation, so companies have no choice but to rely on the LTO program and the goodwill of its members.

whereas current roadmap The Predict tapes will have an impressive native capacity of 144TB by the time LTO-12 arrives, estimates have been dialed back since the decision to cut capacity on the latest tapes. The next generation of tapes (LTO-10) were originally supposed to have a native capacity of 48TB, which is now much higher than anticipated.

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