Hewlett-Packard (HP) reached a big milestone today. The company announced the transition to the Linear Tape Open (LTO) 6 specification for its entire tape portfolio, now called HP StoreEver Storage.
And it could have big implications for businesses struggling to archive and access ever-growing stores of data.
The benefits are immediate, according to Simon Watkins, worldwide product marketing manager for Tape Products at HP Storage. "You now get more than twice the capacity and almost 50 percent transfer speed over LTO-5," he informed.
HP's move to shift its standalone tape drives and tape libraries to LTO-6 could also help customers keep their archival data around longer. According to the company, LTO-6 cartridges have a shelf life of up to 30 years. LTO-6 can accommodate "6.25 terabytes of compressed capacity," added Watkins, resulting in a massive "44 petabytes of storage in a single tape library."
With data transfer rates of "1.4 terabytes per hour per tape drive," the company is working to position tape as an affordable, scalable and viable way of storing and retrieving data for cloud computing environments and disaster recovery setups.
HP StoreEver Tape can alleviate Big Data storage challenges, particularly surrounding security and compliance, according to HP Storage senior vice president and general manager David Scott.
"Tape storage is experiencing a resurgence as companies struggling with big data archives realize that a fragmented approach to protection and retention can result in added cost and risk. With HP StoreEver's capacity and resiliency, HP's Converged Storage portfolio delivers the industry's most comprehensive and integrated approach to storing, optimizing and protecting data, enabling clients to better simplify infrastructure and reduce costs," said Scott in a statement.
To ensure the integrity of data, StoreEver Storage offers hardware-based data encryption and write once, read many (WORM) protection. HP's StoreOpen management software supports the Linear Tape File System (LTFS).
Watkins describes LTFS as "essentially a tape-based files system that improves the usability and manageability of tape." For IT shops, it frees storage admins from proprietary backup schemes and allows them to access and recover files with drag and drop simplicity.
HP StoreEver can help also organizations achieve their energy efficiency and sustainability goals. "Tape is already a very green technology," said Watkins. Once removed from its drive, tape consumes no energy. HP StoreEver hardware takes things a step further with a new hibernate mode and a new tape head coating that extends the life of the drive.
HP StoreEver Storage LTO-6 tapes, tape drives and libraries are available now. Prices start at $3,999 for an HP StoreEver LTO-6 tape drive. HP StoreEver LTO-6 tape libraries start at $8,600.