IBM Upgrades Its 'Big Data' Tape, Archiving Lineup
Big Blue introduces exabyte-capable tape libraries to handle backup and archiving for massive data sets.Perhaps it was coincidence and perhaps not, but IBM just happened to come out this week with a major new Big Data storage product launch at exactly the same time as competing storage giant EMC is holding its big annual conference in Las Vegas, which is titled "Cloud Meets Big Data."
Big Blue on May 9 announced a set of new products involving tape storage backup, enhanced archiving and deduplication that aim to help clients better store and extract business intelligence from massive amounts of data.
Something should be clarified before we go any further here: The increasingly used term "Big Data" does not refer to volume alone. "Big Data" also signifies the wide number of data types that need to be stored, archived, protected and accessed, whether they are created by humans or generated from devices.
Tape Still an Important Asset
Tape may be a 1950s-era technology (IBM invented magnetic tape in 1952), but it is still a major player in enterprise data storage, no matter what the spinning disk hard drive storage makers say. Analysts who track such things generally agree that between 50 and 60 percent of all the world's businesses that maintain digital records have tape in the mix somewhere.
"IBM has an edge over storage vendors like EMC that don't support tape," Doug Balog, general manager of IBM's storage business unit, told eWEEK. "Tape and disk can be used together to deliver to clients tiered storage that enables them to store data within the different tiers based on their data priorities."
"For those of you who think tape has no future, please take note of the following quote from James Gleick's very worthwhile new book 'The Information,'" wrote Mesabi Group analyst David Hill in Charles King's May 11 Pund-IT report. "'Hardly any information technology goes obsolete. Each new one throws its predecessors into relief.' In the context of IBM's announcements, tape is likely to continue to play a key role in the backup process and to pick up new business, especially in providing bulk storage for active archiving.
"All things considered, tape continues to be more cost effective for those processes than disk-based solutions, as has been shown by one or more studies for each area."