Drought Not the Forecast for LTO Tapes
While Australia’s farmers struggle with an actual drought, the same cannot be said for those relying on LTO tape for archival storage and back-up, despite reports from some quarters of a so-called LTO tape “drought” in Australia.
According to General Manager at Stutch Data Services Richard Stutchbury, “Sure LTO-8 has not been available for a few months now, but there have been alternatives like the Type M or M8 tape which has the same speed of LTO-7 (300MB/sec/700MB/sec) and ¾ of the capacity (9TB/22.5TB) for tape library users. Also, all the other LTO tapes have been available from LTO-1 to LTO-7. The older LTO-1, LTO-2 and LTO-3 models have to be ordered in specially, as you would expect, but I wouldn’t call it a drought. Also, we have been advised that FUJIFILMs LTO-8 tapes are going to hit the market very soon so that will complete the range of readily-available LTOs.”
Stutch Data Services supplies LTO tapes to its Australian resellers and customers and uses them in-house. Recently, the company has seen a surge in the sale and use of LTO tapes and, in particular, FUJIFILM LTO tapes.
“We buy and sell tapes from all manufacturers but it’s FUJIFILM that has the largest market share with us,” says Stutchbury. “We’ve sold significantly more Fujifilm LTO tapes over the last 12 months compared to the 12 months before that. The amount of FUJIFILM LTO tapes we are selling continues to grow and will be even higher in the future as Sony has now left the market and no longer produces LTO tape under its own brand.
“We prefer FUJIFILM LTOs because FUJIFILM are a manufacturer, their cost is competitive, they are local, understand the Australian market and make an excellent LTO tape for all uses and applications.”
As LTO tape is the most cost effective and best medium to hold data that is rarely accessed; it is ideal to use for Stutch Data’s customers’ requirements, allowing hard drive and flash storage for data required to run online applications and that is accessed regularly.
The main benefits of using LTO tapes are lower costs and the fact that the tape is removable. The tapes also have a high reliability factor. The cost per terabyte of LTO tape storage is also low when factors including hardware, software, maintenance, user fees, cooling, heating, electricity and the general real-estate costs of computer room space are considered.
“Obviously, in the short term there is no shortage of LTO tapes except LTO-8,” says Richard Stutchbury. “However, as I mentioned, FUJIFILM’s LTO-8 will be here soon and alternatives do exist in Type M or M8 tapes. In the medium and long-term, we will have full supplies of all FUJIFILM LTO tapes right up to LTO-8 so LTO tape as a storage medium has a very long and solid future ahead of it in Australia.”