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Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the pack-it-in dept.

Data Storage 208

jfruh (300774) writes "Who says tape storage is out of date? Sony researchers have announced a breakthrough in magnetic tape tech that increases the data density per square inch by a factor of 74. The result could be 185 TB tape cartridges. 'By comparison, LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open), the latest generation of magnetic tape storage, has a density of 2 gigabits per square inch, or 2.5 TB per cartridge uncompressed.'"

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Don't worry, NSA will still buy American (0)

InsultsByThePound (3603437) | about 6 months ago | (#46897617)

Sony will turn it into a propietary format, allowing someone else to develop a work around at 1/3 the price.

Re:Don't worry, NSA will still buy American (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897679)

"Who says tape storage is out of date?

Anyone who isn't rich and isn't a moron.

Re:Don't worry, NSA will still buy American (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 months ago | (#46898523)

Funny my first thought was the original Star Trek using tape drives 200 years into the future.

And now it just might be true.

Re:Don't worry, NSA will still buy American (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 6 months ago | (#46898709)

They could be ROM/flash cartridges, like oversized SD cards.

Re:Don't worry, NSA will still buy American (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about 6 months ago | (#46898869)

Don't forget they'll add crazy DRM that forces you to connect to the Internet before you access your data. Also the drives will be slow to load and you'll have to reboot them every five minutes due to lock-ups. It will also have some wild name like Yello-Drive.

Toshiba will probably make a competing drive that fails. As a final insult to Sony they will make Drive that "upscales" your current drive without all the annoying issues of the Yello-Drive. It'll do a damn good job too, but; ignorance rules and people won't mind the Yello-Drives slow loading times and ever-evolving, ridiculous DRM.

In the end the market will show that regular drives still outsell the Yello-Drive 3:1. Sony will probably push for new 400TB (lovingly called 4KTB) models not realizing that most people simply don't care anymore and have moved on to things like Cloud storage.

By way of context... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46897619)

Since this was the first question that came to my mind: apparently HDD platter densities (in similar 'we have demonstrated the technology but don't look for it at Best Buy just yet' stage) are ~ 1 terabit/square inch.

Obviously, the cost of packaging a given number of square inches of HDD platter is markedly higher, so the tape is likely to offer better value(if you are using enough to spread the, generally alarming, cost of the drive(s) and possibly robotic library around a bit); but it's hard to beat the density of a very tightly controlled rigid medium that never leaves a controlled environment during its entire life.

Re:By way of context... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897665)

Have you looked at the prices of a tape? In the last 10 years tape is on par on price with disks, and that is exluding the price of a tape deck.

Re:By way of context... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46897707)

Have you looked at the prices of a tape? In the last 10 years tape is on par on price with disks, and that is exluding the price of a tape deck.

Oh, I was delighted when the stodgy traditionalists finally bowed to the inevitable and let me move all the nearline and less-demanding-I/O to HDD. Tape still seems to be a bit more reliable if you want to just put something on the shelf and then spin it up in 5 years, HDDs can be a bit touchy about that.

Re:By way of context... (2, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46898081)

Which is why tape will probably be around for a long time. It is great that HDDs have become more economical for things they are good at, but there will probably never be one solution across the entire range of use cases. Tape has its place.

Re:By way of context... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46897773)

I've just looked. I can get Quantum MR-L5MQN-01 LTO-5 tapes with a native (uncompressed) capacity for about £20. The sweet spot for disks right now seems to be 3TB at about £80, so that's twice as expensive per TB, but only if you don't include the tape drive. An LTO-5 drive costs about £1,300. To save that much I'd need to be using about 100TB of storage, which is a fairly small filer for a business, but an insane amount for a home user. Shopping around a bit, I can find some LTO-5 drives for about £800, which brings it down to closer to 50TB, but still far more than I need to back up.

Of course, if I were backing up that much, then I wouldn't want a single drive, I'd want a tape library. And once they're out of the library, tapes are a lot more durable.

Re:By way of context... (4, Informative)

stdarg (456557) | about 6 months ago | (#46898765)

To save that much I'd need to be using about 100TB of storage, which is a fairly small filer for a business, but an insane amount for a home user.

That's an insane amount for most businesses too! I've helped some small business owning friends out with their computer needs before and they couldn't fill a 1 TB hard drive if they tried. One of them, a veterinarian, said he wanted to keep a copy of his xray images on Amazon S3 as an off-site backup. I thought ok that's going to be a lot of data. Total was around 60 GB for 8 years' worth of xrays. The database backup for his practice management software is about 3 GB compressed.

Yeah, but (5, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46898587)

my MP3s have a warmer, more natural tone coming out of a tape deck.

Re:By way of context... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898711)

You mean the LTO 5 tape media I can buy for $20, or the LTO 4 tapes for $10? I'd say tape is cheaper by far. The drives are not cheap, and it would be nice to see a consumer level (i.e. can run on usb 2 or 3 without shoe-shining) drive with a capacity similar to LTO-5.

Re:By way of context... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897689)

The first question that comes to my mind is why is all this storage needed in the first place. Yeah, it's because fuckheads want to record every move we make. Is there a list somewhere that is updated when people in the government die of painful diseases? I want to celebrate.

Re:By way of context... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897823)

Internet Archive - Over 10PB
Facebook - Over 100PB
Microsoft Over 100PB

I have 4TB of PSD files, 16TB of home video, 4.5TB dvd of video backups, 7TB of BRD backups, 825GB of family photos, and around 75GB of text documents + one back of all my backups. TB Hard drives add up fast and 150TB tape would be great for me. My family is cam junkies we record HD pretty much around the clock, but hey we have fun doing it. Good memories on video is priceless for me, you can't buy it you have to make it. :)

Re:By way of context... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897857)

16TB of "home video", 825GB of "family photos". Riiiiiiiight.

That's an impressive collection of porn you've got there. Hope there's none of the stuff that'll have get you in legal trouble.

Re:By way of context... (3, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 6 months ago | (#46898003)

Don't forget the 75GB of text documents. Even if they're uncompressed, that's around 30 million pages of text.

It's the most impressive collection of slash fiction about Kirk and Spock getting it on in the known universe.

Re:By way of context... (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46898151)

Given how large the known universe is, are you surprised? It would take a lot of pages to describe their sex in all those different galaxies.

Re:By way of context... (1, Insightful)

kernel_user (3472317) | about 6 months ago | (#46897933)

> We record HD pretty much around the clock, So basically you never watch anything. Also, if that happens to be true, all you have is 16TB of *footage*, not 16TB of actual watchable family video. I think it's a kind of hoarding.. You're a hoarder.

Re:By way of context... (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#46897979)

There's always a tradeoff between hoarding and becoming a librarian. I could dedicate the next month of my free time to reducing my storage footprint, or I could cough up another $200 to increase my server space a bit. With the exception of running something like Grand Perspective, Space Monger, Baobab, etc. I'd rather just spend a few bucks.

Re:By way of context... (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 months ago | (#46897957)

Honey, remember this?! It's the video you shot of me shooting videos of our kids when they were first using their cameras! No, wait, that's the video the cat took when you were shooting a video of me shooting videos of our kids when they were first using their cameras. Did you ever feed that cat?

Re:By way of context... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898057)

I don't have a problem with conspiracy theories except for the fact that, as you pointed out, it is the first thing that comes into the mind of a person that is unqualified to even think about the requirements the rest of us struggle against on a weekly basis.
If it's any consalation to you, the relavent data points about p ople like you can still fit on a floppy with room to spare.

Time for a new Sony Walkman Cassette Recorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897623)

Just wondering, if they can make one with 10.000 rpm to get to all of the 185 TB in reasonable time...

Re:Time for a new Sony Walkman Cassette Recorder (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46897805)

Maybe Betamax will now be better than MP3?

Re:Time for a new Sony Walkman Cassette Recorder (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 6 months ago | (#46898215)

My most treasured home movies are on super 8 in the top of the closet, I've got a few hours of 3min films spliced together with stick tape and a razor about 30yrs ago and wound onto 8 inch reels. I get them down every now and then for a "home movie night", my three pre-school grand-daughters get a kick out seeing their mum at their age and love the "antique" (early 80's) reel to reel projector.

But is it even usable? (5, Interesting)

quantumghost (1052586) | about 6 months ago | (#46897633)

So at 185TB per tape with the write speed of LTO6 "at speeds up to 400MB/s (1.4TB/hr) [quantum.com] " [optimal]....~132 hrs per tape. But in reality 300 MB/s or 1 TB/hr so about 176 hr/tape. 168 hours in a week.....Next weekly back up starts before the first one finished.....

Yeah, I know, they're not all level 0 backups.....you get the idea....sometimes it might be better to have 2 smaller tapes, than 1 large.

Re: But is it even usable? (1)

Gaspard de Coligny (3639401) | about 6 months ago | (#46897639)

Real men don't make backups... They cry under their desks... (Had a major software raid failure 2 weeks ago... Still recovering around 6Tb of pr0n)

Re: But is it even usable? (5, Funny)

davidhoude (1868300) | about 6 months ago | (#46897655)

Say what? Everyone here keeps telling me that RAID is backups!

Re: But is it even usable? (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 6 months ago | (#46897697)

We have had RAID failure twice now. The idea is that even with things like SMART, the errors in the second disk (or 3rd etc) don't become apparent till you try and recover and thrash the disk properly.

Re: But is it even usable? (5, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 6 months ago | (#46897789)

We have had RAID failure twice now. The idea is that even with things like SMART, the errors in the second disk (or 3rd etc) don't become apparent till you try and recover and thrash the disk properly.

The other reason why RAID isn't a backup is because it doesn't account for software/human failures - good luck recovering your data from a RAID after accidentally running "rm -rf /", whereas time indexed backups will allow you to go back a few days/weeks/months and recover your data after you discover it's not on the disk any more.

RAID is there to keep systems running in the event of a hardware failure - its no substitute for a backup.

Anyway, the errors on the disks should become apparent during their operation because you should be doing regular scrubs to find the errors. Putting the data somewhere, forgetting about it and not actually checking its still there for a few years is a pretty good recipe for disaster no matter how you store it. That said, I've seen a few cases where a drive fails, and the increased load on the other (similar age) disks sends another over the edge soon after, so one disk going bad should probably be an early warning that you're likely to see the other disks start to fail soon too (so don't hang about waiting to replace the dead one!)

Re: But is it even usable? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 months ago | (#46898217)

Which is why hard drives are a much better solution than tapes. With tapes, most people write them, put them on a shelf, and hope that the next time they need them they actually work. Every time you read them, you degrade them, so actually checking if they work once in a while could be detrimental. Contrast that with hard disks. Use RAID on the main machine to increase uptime. Then backup everything to a completely seperate RAID array. Disks are a lot better at holding up to continuous use, so you can check frequently for errors in the data, and fix it before it becomes a problem. I don't think cost per gigabyte should actually be a big part of the equation. Everybody always mentions the price of the tape drive, but when talking about hard drives, they fail to account for the cost of a box that can handle 20-40 drives and act as a real backup solution.

Re: But is it even usable? (3, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 6 months ago | (#46898341)

Most tapes are written and then rewritten on a weekly or monthly basis. The medical office that was using LTO would have a daily incremental backup and then a once a week full backup. The software would run a verification check on each tape and give us a warning when it determined one was degrading.

Tapes saved our ass when the motherboard blew out on their main server and took out the RAID to boot. We were able to retrieve the data from backup without any problem.

Re: But is it even usable? (3, Interesting)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46898755)

You have no idea what you are talking about. Most tapes are not written by people and put on a shelf. Most tapes are automatically managed by a tape library, such as this one [ibm.com] (note that thing can store up to 900PB.) Read failures do not happen, because the library and host software together automatically count cycles and copy to a different tape when the cycles get too high, as well as detecting corrected errors and signalling when there is a problem with a tape.

z/OS, for instance, has a hierarchical storage manager where, by policy, data that is not accessed in certain period of time is moved first to slower (cheaper) disk, then to tape. Where I work, the 'to tape' time is about a month. In over 30 years of using such systems I have seen the 'DFHSM is recalling from tape' message many thousands of times, and I have never once encountered a situation where the recall failed or the data was corrupted. And the recall typically takes less than a minute.

It seems that most people on here only have experience with crappy home tape systems.

So let's do your contrasting with HDDs. That library holds up to 900PB, and uses 1.6kVA of power. It takes up 163 square feet of floor space. By my calculation, that would take over 1 million 1TB HDDs in a RAID array. How much floor space would that take? How much power would it use? How much heat would be generated?

If you have a lot of data, and do not need all of the data 'right this second', and (most importantly) have a system that can manage the data without causing the user to jump through hoops, tape makes an excellent solution. And that describes most large companies.

Re: But is it even usable? (1)

labnet (457441) | about 6 months ago | (#46898221)

This is the backup system i eventually settled on.
First line of defence is is raid 6 running on ssd's on our hyper v server.
Second is altaro backup backing up our vm's to a nas drive running raid6
Third is shadow protect which runs on the domain/file server, to provide long term historical backups.
The altaro backups are copied to an offsite drive once per week.

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898823)

About ten years ago, I worked at a place that did a trial run of disks as backup, running an old tape autochanger in parallel for critical things. Things were looking good enough to toss the autochanger until a drive controller failure caused garbage data to be written to the platters, which hosed all the logical drives.

A drive controller freaking out is the exception than the rule, but with disk, all your storage is online, or at most just a drive spin-up away. It doesn't take much to overwrite it, or at least zero out the drives, forcing a recovery by hand (which could be impossible.)

Re: But is it even usable? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46898169)

Better get two desks, then, in case one of them breaks and you'll have to cry under the other one.

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897657)

Ahhh, there's your first mistake - you don't backup pr0n - the internet is already your pr0n backup.

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897719)

How old are you?

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897871)

Time to take a look at ZFS or BTRFS. And kudos on being honest about the "6TB of porn" instead of claiming it was "home video" or "family photos"

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897905)

And kudos on being honest about the "6TB of porn" instead of claiming it was "home video" or "family photos"

And kudos on believing it... who the hell tries to recover 6 TB of porn? Unless it's a "home video".

Re: But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897885)

I see you were usin gReiser FS. Have you tried following Hans Reiser around until you find where he hid the old drive bay, and checked it for blood staains?

I dealt with ReiserFS a lot with a boss who was a big fanboy, and it was *amazing* how it would eliminate files and pretend innocence: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Reiser)

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#46897663)

185TB

How many Library of Congresses full of porn is that?

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 6 months ago | (#46897739)

It is estimated that the LOC, including video and audio is about 3000 TB. So, you would need 17 of these tapes I guess.
http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpr... [loc.gov]
Or was your question rhetorical?

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898133)

Let's stick some of these tapes in the LOC itself and go recursive!

Re:But is it even usable? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46897741)

It's only the Bohner memorial Porn wing...

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 6 months ago | (#46897669)

If the density is greater, the speed will (probably) be greater if the tape pull speed is the same....

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 6 months ago | (#46897757)

Or the amount of tape in the cartridge could be smaller. Maybe a return to DAT sized cartridges?

It's probably a horses for courses thing though. There are plenty of applications, particularly in the scientific research arena, that generate vast amounts of data that can be spooled off to tape for archiving/distribution pretty much at leisure before the hot storage is wiped for re-use. Even with Internet2, I could easily imagine somewhere like Arecibo, CERN or the SKA being all over this kind of storage capacity given the old bandwidth of physical media in a truck adage.

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897673)

Where does it say that the new 185TB tapes are written at LTO6 speeds?

It compares the storage density to LTO6 specs but then also mentions writing to the new tape using sputter deposition.

Maybe I missed something...

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 6 months ago | (#46897699)

I'm trying to figure what you'd want with one of these anyways. I mean, does anybody even use tape anymore to begin with? No random access means recovering from a failure will take a long ass time. It's probably easier to just stick to hot mirrored arrays to begin with.

Re: But is it even usable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897761)

clearly you don't work with large volumes of data. raid is great, but getting that much data to off site backup is not as easy as it sounds and hard drives don't travel well. Tape has been working hard for years and will for many more. it is also much cheaper to scale than a large array of disks. new tape: $30. New enterprise disk: $300... don't forget it needs to be FIPS so you can take the hard disk off site!

Windows Admins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897783)

Windows Admins have taken over this site. We have a lot of data, not in the NSA category but in the "station wagons full of tape" category. We don't need much of it very often, and tape is a hell of a lot cheaper and more reliable than spinning disks. If you're talking some small 100 to 1000 disk array, sure, but if your data is valuable and irreplaceable, get with the big kids and use tape for backups.

And yes, a V40 has more bandwidth than we can get with fiber.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898041)

I mean, does anybody even use tape anymore to begin with?

Hard to believe you're even asking this. Just about every large company in existence uses tape extensively.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46898307)

my weekly backups at work are in the 5-6 TB range per week. we have LTO-4 in a 96 slot tape robot with 3 drives

185TB per tape means i can have most of my tapes last all year and just switch one out monthly to send offsite. or instead of sending monthly backups offsite, i can fill the tape with weekly backups and send the same one tape offsite but with 10 times the data

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897771)

What is to stop the next weekly backup happening at the same time?

Besides, a proper backup system would both:
1) check the modified dates to see if they need to be backed up
2) check if they have in fact actually been modified, which 1 fulfils, before backing them up.

Backing up literally "no changes" wastes space and SO MANY people do it. It is insane.
1 of these tapes could last me my entire life if I went at the same rate I still do now. 185TB is huge to only store changes to a system.
Damned holograms making me buy 150 gigawotsit drives.

me too (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 6 months ago | (#46898061)

exactly.

Re:But is it even usable? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46897777)

You're assuming that you'd want to create a full tape's worth of backups. If you're generating 1.4TB/hour of data, then you might have this problem. If you're only generating a few GB/day then it's quite easy for your weekly backup to run in under an hour and just append to the tape. Periodically you swap over to a new tape.

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897893)

Depends on the tape technology. I *still* remember Exabytes, which had no way to just run the tape previously written end because they had no "end-of-tape" marker, only an "end-of-file" marker. Whoever had written the spec for them had decided that putting two "end-of-file" markers in a row to indicate "end-of-tape" was something they didn't need.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

asvravi (1236558) | about 6 months ago | (#46897903)

Periodically you swap over to a new tape.

Every 180 years to be precise. Your bigger problem would be material rot, assuming you would want anything more than a couple of decades worth of backup.

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898123)

You're assuming that you'd want to create a full tape's worth of backups. If you're generating 1.4TB/hour of data, then you might have this problem. If you're only generating a few GB/day then it's quite easy for your weekly backup to run in under an hour and just append to the tape. Periodically you swap over to a new tape.

I see. A few gigabytes at a time you say...

And you've justified buying that brand-new $100,000 tape drive and a few of those $300 tapes exactly how?

I guess the point of buying a Ferrari is to not drive around in first gear, not unlike your suggestion of using a few gigabytes at a time on a 185TB-capacity platform.

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898407)

> I guess the point of buying a Ferrari is to not drive around in first gear

As my dad told me: You don't buy a Ferrari because you *can*, you buy a Ferrari to show other people that they *can't*.

Re:But is it even usable? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46897827)

I wonder if they really mean 185TB or if that is the usual 50% compression ratio marketing wank, in which case it would only take half a week two write.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

Eric Sharkey (1717) | about 6 months ago | (#46898657)

185TB is the uncompressed size, as noted in the last word of the summary.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

drolli (522659) | about 6 months ago | (#46897833)

My guess: when the technology which increases the data density by a factor of 100 is ready, then also the writing mechanism will be significantly faster.

Using Current sense rather than old tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897877)

Disk drives improved density when they went current sense and GMR heads.
Putting the same tech to work on tape is well overdue, plus some smarts for tape stretch and the like.
It will be smarter putting the prime stuff in the middle of the tape - but this has not yet occurred.

Encrypted tape, would be so new, the forensics mob wouldn't know jack shirt let alone polyphase merges using RECFM=U

Re:But is it even usable? (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 6 months ago | (#46897879)

Yeah, if you really need to back up 180 TB per week, then you should probably save time by writing multiple tapes in parallel. They wouldn't need to be smaller, though - you could still save a lot of storage room by reusing the large tapes.

It doesn't have to be 180 TB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898017)

If require less than that, for example, 2 TB, it takes less. You could even backup the data several times on the same tape!

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898833)

Yeah, if you really need to back up 180 TB per week, then you should probably save time by writing multiple tapes in parallel. They wouldn't need to be smaller, though - you could still save a lot of storage room by reusing the large tapes.

Sounds like RAIT [zmanda.com] !

Re:But is it even usable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897897)

But in reality 300 MB/s or 1 TB/hr so about 176 hr/tape. 168 hours in a week.....Next weekly back up starts before the first one finished.....

But you try and tell the young people of today that... [youtube.com]

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 6 months ago | (#46897989)

IMHE tape is always an order of magnitude slower than the advertized speed, so it is likely even worse than what you calculated.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46898105)

Depends on how you are doing the backups. Say you only have 1TB of data, you could back it up once per day appending and only need to swap out tapes every 9 months or so.

Though were I see this really being useful (at least to me) is recording scientific data. Experiments can put out obscene amounts of information and I could easily see hooking one of these up to a detector and being happy that you only need to change tapes once a week or so.

Re:But is it even usable? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46898179)

I would expect with a higher density tape, you would get a higher write speed as well.
The read and write speed of the tape can be electrically increases much easier than speeding up how much tension that a fast rolling tape can handle.

Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897645)

Need to fire up my c64

Future of sony media? (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#46897695)

New games and movies may be packaged this way. 180TB of DRM, 5TB of content.

Re:Future of sony media? (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#46897829)

180TB of DRM, 5TB of content.

Then how would you fit a rootkit in there?

/ducks

Sadly life isnt long enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897711)

to restore all that back from tape though

Yes, but .... (0)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 6 months ago | (#46897767)

185TB on a cartridge is impressive .. BUT

Does it generate XRAYS when you peel the tape off the spool?

And can you tape your children to the ceiling with it? (or make a boat, or even an airplane?)

Nostalgia (5, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46897821)

What's next? Discs of vinyl which can hold up to 1000 songs?

Re:Nostalgia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898399)

They would still sound better than MP3

Re:Nostalgia (1)

Z80a (971949) | about 6 months ago | (#46898593)

You probably can pull that off with compressed music in a lossy format like OGG and a CED disc:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
If the CED is able to keep a image quality at least comparable to the VHS, you can use an ARVID solution to store data on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]
At the 325 KB/s mode, you can store up around 1.1 GB of data per side of the CED, or 2.2 GB total, thus allowing you to store 1000 songs of up to 2.2MB of size.

Restore something after every backup (5, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 months ago | (#46897849)

If you don't restore at least one file after every back up, you are going to discover (as a company I worked for found) that your tape is blank when you need it most.

Re:Restore something after every backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898419)

I was contracting at a small company a few years back and just in passing noticed a message on the fileserver backup screen as the tape was removed and put in the fire safe. It read "Tape full. Insert tape 2"

Re:Restore something after every backup (2)

jabuzz (182671) | about 6 months ago | (#46898763)

Rubbish, what you found is that you had inadequate backup software and monitoring of the backup process.

Another wonder-tape that will never materialize... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46897851)

I remember several of them.

www.al-wafe.com (-1)

Mudther M Alrasta (3639567) | about 6 months ago | (#46897909)

www.al-wafe.com

We've probably seen this technology used before. (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 6 months ago | (#46897923)

I know it is no longer sold - read the reviews to get the idea [amazon.co.uk] , but a pre-pre-release of this technology from Sony, could explain why this particular tape was selling for 39.2 million pounds each, while masquerading as a simple DV tape.

Security cameras (4, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 6 months ago | (#46897937)

This would be great for security camera applications. The number one reason resolution sucks on security camera recordings is due to a lack of storage. Rather than seeing a indecipherable black and white (color is even worse) video of a suspect robbing a store, we would get it in HD. Have a few cameras on the inside, and on the outside to capture the getaway car, this could actually discourage some crimes.

Re:Security cameras (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46898095)

Well they seem to do OK. Whenever they show those 5 pixel faces on the TV, they always seem to be able to identify the culprit.

Re:Security cameras (1)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46898693)

ENHANCE!

And the price of a 185TB cartridge (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 6 months ago | (#46897949)

... will be only three times that of the same storage in disks.

Slight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46897997)

Lack of vision though. Is tape the only mechanism for backup if an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) is used? Otherwise, it seems antiquated. I'm proud retro and would use mini disks to back up non essential data but because they are defunct I wouldn't want to rely on them for serious stuff. Holographic for high capacity and crystal etched for long endurance seems to be the way to go. I'm not seeing a future for tape, and Blue Ray etc. will not last past this current generation of consoles either I think. It will go the same way as sloppy.

s /sloppy/floppy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898015)

sloppy -> floppy

Re:Slight (2)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 6 months ago | (#46898069)

Right, and how is the firmware on the drive for your non-magnetic media holding up after that EMP blast? You did remember to load a copy of the firmware onto a disk too, right? Oh, and the bios for the computer you were planning on restoring to, and the hard-drive firmware and other various chipset firmwares? I think come an EMP blast you had better set the computer aside and know how to be a dirt farmer before you starve. Even if you get your own files restored it is unlikely you will be able to do much else unless you plan on helping the telco reprogram all their equipment to get the network back up etc. In the meantime, you starve.

Re:Slight (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46898275)

Oh, come one, microfiche is the way to go for catastrophic scenarios. In the worst case, you'll read it using a Visby lens, like the Vikings did.

Millions of tapes at single customers (1)

Leadmagnet (685892) | about 6 months ago | (#46898153)

I have been to financial and medial customer sites that have rooms bigger than football fields with nothing more that hundreds of rows of selves, and many tens of millions of tapes. I am sure they would like rejoice in this greater density.

Proprietary format? (1)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | about 6 months ago | (#46898325)

Color me reluctant, but I have no interest because Sony is notorious for proprietary formats [fastcompany.com] that lock you into their product and I still despise their hostile disposition for customers when they gave us the rootkit scandal [wikipedia.org] .

Hmmm (1)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#46898423)

The really good news is if this gets adopted all the other tape products will drop in cost.

Sorry, I'm waiting for holographic storage... (1)

iceperson (582205) | about 6 months ago | (#46898465)

nt

Ok, so what's the actual size? (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 6 months ago | (#46898513)

Why does it seem like every time there is a "major breakthrough" or new format that offers "massive stoarge", when it actually materilizes it is way less storage then advertised? I thought when Bluray was announced it was suppose to feature up to 250GB, and I remember reading an article years ago that Pioneer created a 500GB disk.

And what about all the major breakthroughs in hdd that I hear about every other year, yet space seems to be going up at a fairly slow but consistent pace.

Must either be a) marketing gimmick, or b) might as well increase incrementally to milk the most money out of people

And what's the throughput on one of these things? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46898571)

Doesn't much help if backing up to tape and recovery of said "gobs and gobs of data" takes longer than the remaining lifespan of the universe.

Could get better results using Dolby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46898623)

Dolby makes it better. Blinded by science! Maybe this tape won't lose it all after sitting on the shelf. Bleed through is bad. My original The Beatles tapes are backmasked now. Not good. Pre-Dolby days so understandable.

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