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Growth Once Again
The low-end tape library business declined rapidly in 2008 and 2009, dragging down the entire business, said Matt Starr, CTO of Boulder, Colo.-based Spectra Logic. However, with the focus on archiving, Spectra Logic is seeing growth once again, including in the autoloader market, Starr said.
Going forward, Starr said growth will continue thanks to the need to archive ever-growing amounts of data, especially fixed content such as video and JPEG files, where deduplication technology has little impact on capacity.
Consolidation of tape libraries is causing a big uptick in the sales of large libraries, said Rob Clark, senior vice president of Quantum’s disk and tape business.
However, Clark said, Quantum recently has seen a surge in the midrange tape library market as well. “I’m not sure why,” he said. “Maybe people have been waiting to purchase them.”
Clark also said he sees a future for tape in cloud computing because of the expense of cloud-based storage.
“Cloud providers charge a premium,” he said. “But they need to add tape on the back end as another tier. For cloud service providers, power and cooling are very expensive.”
For affordability and data portability, there is no real alternative to tape for long-term archiving, said Peri Grover, director of product marketing at Overland Storage, San Diego.
“Once data is stored, 90 percent is never accessed again,” Grover said. “That’s a big waste of disk.”
The only real objection to tape today is speed, especially since data is stored sequentially, Grover said. “But when it’s used for archiving, that’s not an issue,” she said. “You don’t need millisecond speed.”
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