Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Zombie Technology Life after Death Tape Is Still Alive

Zombie Technology Life after Death Tape Is Still Alive

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

A Zombie Technology is one declared dead yet has Life after Death such as Tape which is still alive.

zombie technology
Image via StorageIO.com (licensed for use from Shutterstock.com)

Tapes Evolving Role

Sure we have heard for decade’s about the death of tape, and someday it will be dead and buried (I mean really dead), no longer used, buried, existing only in museums. Granted tape has been on the decline for some time, and even with many vendors exiting the marketplace, there remains continued development and demand within various data infrastructure environments, including software defined as well as legacy.

data infrastructures

Tape remains viable for some environments as part of an overall memory data storage hierarchy including as a portability (transportable) as well as bulk storage medium.

memory data storage hirearchy classes tiers

Keep in mind that tapes role as a data storage medium also continues to change as does its location. The following table (via Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press)) Chapter 10 shows examples of various data movements from source to destination. These movements include migration, replication, clones, mirroring, and backup, copies, among others. The source device can be a block LUN, volume, partition, physical or virtual drive, HDD or SSD, as well as a file system, object, or blob container or bucket. An example of the modes in Table 10.1 include D2D backup from local to local (or remote) disk (HDD or SSD) storage or D2D2D copy from local to local storage, then to the remote.

Mode - Description
D2D - Data gets copied (moved, migrated, replicated, cloned, backed up) from source storage (HDD or SSD) to another device or disk (HDD or SSD)-based device
D2C - Data gets copied from a source device to a cloud device.
D2T - Data gets copied from a source device to a tape device (drive or library).
D2D2D - Data gets copied from a source device to another device, and then to another device.
D2D2T - Data gets copied from a source device to another device, then to tape.
D2D2C   Data gets copied from a source device to another device, then to cloud.
Data Movement Modes from Source to Destination

Note that movement from source to the target can be a copy, rsync, backup, replicate, snapshot, clone, robocopy among many other actions. Also, note that in the earlier examples there are occurrences of tape existing in clouds (e.g. its place) and use changing.  Tip - In the past, “disk” usually referred to HDD. Today, however, it can also mean SSD. Think of D2D as not being just HDD to HDD, as it can also be SSD to SSD, Flash to Flash (F2F), or S2S among many other variations if you prefer (or needed).

tape storage
Image via Tapestorage.org

For those still interested in tape, check out the Active Archive Alliance recent posts (here), as well as the 2017 Tape Storage Council Memo and State of their industry report (here). While lower end-tape such as LTO (which is not exactly the low-end it was a decade or so ago) continues to evolve, things may not be as persistent for tape at the high-end. With Oracle (via its Sun/StorageTek acquisition) exiting the high-end (e.g. Mainframe focused) tape business, that leaves mainly IBM as a technology provider.

Tape Storage In Use
Image via Tapestorage.org

With a single tape device (e.g. drive) vendor at the high-end, that could be the signal for many organizations that it is time to finally either move from tape or at least to LTO (linear tape open) as a stepping stone (e.g. phased migration). The reason not being technical rather business in that many organizations need to have a secondary or competitive offering or go through an exception process.

On the other hand, just as many exited the IBM mainframe server market (e.g. Fujitsu/Amdahl, HDS, NEC), big blue (e.g. IBM) continues to innovate and drive both revenue and margin from those platforms (hardware, software, and services). This leads me to believe that IBM will do what it can to keep its high-end tape customers supported while also providing alternative options.

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

I would not schedule the last tape funeral just yet, granted there will continue to be periodic wakes and send off over the coming decade. Tape remains for some environments a viable data storage option when used in new ways, as well as new locations complementing flash SSD and other persistent memories aka storage class memories along with HDD.

Personally, I have been directly tape free for over 14 years. Granted, I have data in some clouds and object storage that may exist on a very cold data storage tier possibly maybe on tape that is transparent to my use. However just because I do not physically have tape, does not mean I do not see the need why others still have to or prefer to use it for different needs.

Also, keep in mind that tape continues to be used as an economic data transport for bulk movement of data for some environments. Meanwhile for those who only want, need or wish tape to finally go away, close your eyes, click your heels together and repeat your favorite tape is not alive chant three (or more) times. Keep in mind that HDDs are keeping tape alive by off loading some functions, while SSDs are keeping HDDs alive handling tasks formerly done by spinning media. Meanwhile, tape can and is still called upon by some organizations to protect or enable bulk recovery for SSD and HDDs even in cloud environments, granted in new different ways.

What this all means is that as a zombie technology having been declared dead for decades yet still live there is life after death for tape, which is still alive, for now.

Ok, nuff said (for now...).

Cheers
Gs

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2017 (and vSAN). Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Watch for the spring 2017 release of his new book "Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials" (CRC Press).

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2017 Server StorageIO(R) and UnlimitedIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, discussed how AI can simplify cloud operations. He covered the following topics: why cloud mana...
Docker containers have brought great opportunities to shorten the deployment process through continuous integration and the delivery of applications and microservices. This applies equally to enterprise data centers as well as the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jari Kolehmainen, founder and CTO of Kontena, discussed solutions and benefits of a deeply integrated deployment pipeline using technologies such as container management platforms, Docker containers, and the drone.io Cl tool. H...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, will discuss th...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
Translating agile methodology into real-world best practices within the modern software factory has driven widespread DevOps adoption, yet much work remains to expand workflows and tooling across the enterprise. As models evolve from pockets of experimentation into wholescale organizational reinvention, practitioners find themselves challenged to incorporate the culture and architecture necessary to support DevOps at scale.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
As more and more companies are making the shift from on-premises to public cloud, the standard approach to DevOps is evolving. From encryption, compliance and regulations like GDPR, security in the cloud has become a hot topic. Many DevOps-focused companies have hired dedicated staff to fulfill these requirements, often creating further siloes, complexity and cost. This session aims to highlight existing DevOps cultural approaches, tooling and how security can be wrapped in every facet of the bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
yperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let’s say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems Inc, provides the software product "The Interactor" that uniquely simplifies building IoT, Web and Smart Enterprise Solutions. It is a Silicon Valley startup funded by US government agencies, NSF and DHS to bring innovative solutions to market.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
With Cloud Foundry you can easily deploy and use apps utilizing websocket technology, but not everybody realizes that scaling them out is not that trivial. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Roman Swoszowski, CTO and VP, Cloud Foundry Services, at Grape Up, will show you an example of how to deal with this issue. He will demonstrate a cloud-native Spring Boot app running in Cloud Foundry and communicating with clients over websocket protocol that can be easily scaled horizontally and coordinate...