Magnetic tape shipments decline in 2020, future growth expected

The LTO program has released information on LTO tape shipments in 2020. The reported compressed media shipping capacities (1.5: 1.0 compression) were 105.2 EB in 2020, down from about 7%. , 7% compared to 114 EBs shipped in 2019. The press release indicates that the real GDP growth rate declined by around 5% during the same period.

The decline in LTO magnetic tape shipments has been attributed by the LTO organization due to global shutdowns and other factors. Eric Bassier, Senior Director of Quantum, said: “We are optimistic that the previous capacity growth trend will return in 2021 as companies start buying storage again, taking into account new trends requiring more security measures. strict, and we continue to see changes in purchases from old to new generations of LTO tapes.

The latest generation of LTO magnetic tape is LTO-8 with uncompressed storage capacities of 12TB and compressed capacities of 30TB and with data transfer rates up to 750MB / s. The LTO program has followed a program with new generations of tapes introduced approximately every 2.5 years. The next generation of LTO tapes, LTO-9, with uncompressed storage capacities of 18TB was due for release in the first quarter of 2021, but this was reported to be delayed until September 2021.

The LTO Group has promoted magnetic tape as providing an inherent air space for data stored on tape, which can be used to provide a path to recover data encrypted by ransomware. Magnetic tape is a common storage medium used for long-term storage (archiving) of digital data.

LTO shipments may well improve in 2021. Quantum, a major supplier of large tape storage libraries, has reported increased sales of tape library systems to large-scale data centers. In its latest investor briefing, Quantum said the company’s backlog has reached unprecedented levels.

In addition to the LTO group’s magnetic tape, IBM (also a member of the LTO consortium and the only manufacturer of LTO magnetic tape drives) has its own magnetic tape format. In December 2020, I had the opportunity to speak with IBM tape specialists with updates on IBM tape shipments from 2014 to 2019.

Although lower than LTO shipments (less than 20%), the IBM number increases the total capacities to ship new magnetic tapes. The chart below shows my estimates of total compressed magnetic tape (LTO plus IBM) shipments from 2014 to 2019 and with projected growth of 15% per year through 2026.

In addition, Fujifilm, the leading manufacturer of LTO tapes, announces a joint marketing alliance with Tiger Technology to provide a long-term, secure and scalable storage management solution for moving data from a primary storage tier to storage. on tape.

According to the release, the integration of Fujifilm’s Object Archive software with Tiger Technology’s Tiger Bridge software provides active tape-based archiving while preserving the entire chain of custody. The resulting environment provides a complete archiving solution to simplify the management and archiving of unstructured data, as well as its transfer to long-term storage at low cost.

LTO tape capacity shipments are down approximately 7.7% in 2020 from 2020, but growth is expected in 2021 and into the future. Total magnetic tape capacity shipments in 2020 (LTO and IBM tapes) are estimated to be around 129 exabytes. Fujifilm and Tiger Technology offer a secure active archiving service on tape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *