Sony Backup Tapes – 185GB

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Sony was king of the music tapes (backup tapes) in the 80’s.
Just as in the music industry, backup tapes were slowly being faded out for more robust and bigger storage solutions such as hard drives and Digital Discs.
That might all change if Sony’s new backup tapes go into production

Last month at the International Magnetics Conference (Intermag) in Europe, Sony presented a brand new method of storing data on magnetic tape which according to their current limits can be as much as 185TB (TeraBytes!) onto one tape.

Just as interesting is that Tape Storage Council, which monitors tape shipments said that tape shipments had increased by grew 13% in 2012, and were projected to grow to 26% in 2013.
So much for the notion that tape backups were a dying backup medium.

To achieve this amazing storage capacity, Sony has developed and enhanced a technology known as “sputter deposition.” This involves layers of magnetic crystals firing argon ions at a polymer film substrate. For more information on the technology, go here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputter_deposition

The big benefits of tape are power usage and price. Even though hard drives and discs are constantly lowering their production price, the truth is, here today that tape is significantly cheaper in mass quantities.
For comparison, to set up an 180TB hard drive array using today’s pricings, you are looking at spending over $10,000 AUD in hard drives alone.
Compared to buying 1 single tape deck, plus the hardware and software to run the system and paying for technicians and you would come up significantly cheaper… by a long margin in fact.

Sony hasn’t released a price on the new tapes, but we can be confident that price per GB will still fall in the same area as current tape decks as the technology is quite similar to what is being used today.
We assume a firmware update would also make many tap backup devices compatible with the new tapes, even if initially not the full use of the 185TB claimed.

With Facebook looking to upgrade to Blu-Ray discs and Google still on tape backups, it will be interesting to see which way the big tech companies go in way of their backup and storage needs.
Plus we at A&STech will keep on top of it all and provide the latest and best solutions to our customers.