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The 10 Biggest Storage Stories Of 2012

Small storage vendors looked up, large vendors looked down and everyone looked at the storage cloud, flash technology and even old-school storage technology in 2012 to build the storage infrastructures that will impact customers in 2013 and beyond.

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9. Breathing New Life Into Old Tech

Anyone who fretted that the hard drive industry, having been whittled down to three remaining players, had seen the last of technology surprises got a lift when HGST, now a part of Western Digital, unveiled the first-ever helium-filled hard drives.

By replacing the air inside the drives with helium, it is possible to decrease the space between platters, leading to a significant boost in capacity without a massive investment in new technology.

And, lingering illusions that tape is dead got shattered with the late 2012 release of LTO-6 tape drives and cartridges, which provide up to 6.25 TB of compressed data per cartridge and a compressed data transfer speed of up to 400 MB per second.

The release showed that the consortium of LTO tape technology developers remain on track on a road map stretching years into the future, and it let businesses know tape remains the low-cost way to archive data despite the cloud's often-false promise to reduce archiving costs.

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