You know it and we know it … for all the excitement surrounding virtualisation and “the cloud,” there will always be a need for physical data storage somewhere. And when you’re talking smart grids and “big data,” that physical storage better have some serious capacity.
IBM knows that too. And it’s now offering a tape library system with some serious data storage capacity: more than 2.7 exabytes’ worth.
That’s 2,700,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of storage or, as IBM puts it, “enough to store nearly three times all the mobile data generated in the US in 2010.”
Good thing, too, because global demand for data storage is projected to grow by compound annual rate of 49.8 per cent between 2009 and 2014. According to IBM, tape storage offers an inexpensive, efficient way to store massive volumes of data, and it’s unveiled seven significant improvements to its portfolio of tape and other storage archiving products.
For example, IBM’s System Storage TS3500 Tape Library is enabled by a new, IBM-developed shuttle technology — a mechanical attachment that connects up to 15 tape libraries to create a single, high-capacity library complex at a lower cost. The National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand uses two TS3500 Tape Libraries to support a sophisticated POWER supercomputer used to tackle challenges in such fields as energy, aerospace, weather and climate modeling. The libraries together hold 5 petabytes of data, the equivalent of more than 1,000,000 DVDs. This means that if a DVD were written to the tape libraries at the rate of one every minute, it would take more than two years before their capacity was exhausted.