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Is The Future of Storage In Old Tech?

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Here at The Data Vault, one of our original core services (and partially our namesake) stems from storing and accessing magnetic tape for long term information storage. Over time, more and more businesses have found alternative means by which to backup their data, reducing the emphasis in our industry on this extremely long lived medium. The question that we frequently hear is: In the era of cloud computing and server racks, why would someone choose to go with magnetic tape as their information solution?

It seems that Sony has decided to answer that question loud and clear. As part of their presentation at the International Magnetics Conference in Europe this past weekend, they debuted a new magnetic tape that can hold a staggering 185 terabytes of information or 148 gigabytes per square inch. Using a technique involving magnetic crystallized particles, the storage capability of this device is more than 5 times the previous record set by IBM back in 2010 and is equivalent to about 3,700 Blu Ray DVDs or a $9,305 hard drive storage array. That’s not too bad for a storage medium that’s about 60 years old!

While there’s no word on when this technology will reach the market, it represents a major shift in the equilibrium for information storage. Even as businesses increasingly migrate to cloud services, according to the Tape Storage Council industry group shipments were up 13% in 2012 and were projected to grow by 26% last year. Considering the long lifespan, low cost, and durability of these storage devices; tape is increasingly seen as a viable long term solution for many groups that may not have previously seen it as such.

Is the future of storage in old tech? It might just be.

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