Environmental Social and Governance, or “ESG” considerations have become a major topic for big corporations and one of the factors is the power consumption and carbon emissions of data center equipment.
The LTO program recently worked with the Enterprise Storage Group to look at the sustainability benefits of replacing disk-based storage with LTO tape storage, in particular for the purpose of long-term data archiving.
looks at some of the overall sustainability benefits of using LTO tape, and in particular compares CO2 emissions of disk arrays versus tape libraries. As shown the figure below, data from Enterprise Storage Group indicates that tape libraries will deliver a 6.5x reduction in CO2 emissions relative to disk – simply by moving 500 TB of data from disk to tape.
The takeaway – tape should play a key part in every organization’s ESG strategy
Many of our customers have a lot more than 500 TB of inactive data that could be suitable for long-term archiving on tape, either in a file archive or an object archive. How much environmental benefit could you achieve by moving your inactive data to tape?
Check out this quick read
to learn more about how to build a private archive cloud with either a file or object interface using tape storage.
With the addition of the new mid-range ActiveScale P200, we have completed the platform refresh across the entire ActiveScale portfolio, providing significantly enhanced performance and density across all price points. To meet the increasing need for object storage, ActiveScale cost-effectively scales from terabytes to exabytes and is the only object storage platform architected for both active and cold data.
The P200 – Start Small, Grow Big
The P200 is our new mid-range solution, based on a simple, converged architecture that consolidates computing, networking, and storage into a simple 3U building block for easy deployment and expansion. The ActiveScale P200 easily grows by adding multiple P200s together for unlimited scalability of capacity, performance, and object count to start small and grow big. Even as a 3U 3-node configuration, the P200 packs a lot of power in a dense package. Compared to the ActiveScale P100, on a per rack basis, the P200 provides:
1.9X more capacity
2.4X greater PUT performance
2.7X greater GET performance
6.25X more objects
In a 36U rack, a 12-node P200 scale-out cluster packs a lot of punch:
7.8 petabytes of Active Class storage
15 billion objects
Measured performance up to 37.8 GB/sec GETs and 31.9 GB/sec PUTs
The P200 replaces the P100 in the ActiveScale product line. But rest assured, no man (or node) gets left behind. Existing P100 customers
preserve their pre-existing investment in P100s with the ability to expand their P100 clusters with P200 platforms, not only maximizing their investments in P100, but also capitalizing on new levels of capability and density of the P200.
The Foundation for the Next Evolution in Object Storage
In addition to being a powerful platform for any object storage need, the P200 is an ideal choice upon which to build your unstructured data management strategy. Undoubtedly, data is well recognized today as a strategic asset. Entire industries are digitally transforming with the opportunity to extract significant value from a wide variety of digital data sources. Whether you are producing petabytes of data through gene sequencing, satellites, user activities, or market data, the need to store, analyze, protect, and archive, more and more data is growing unabated.
As the only object storage platform that supports Active and Cold Storage Classes, the P200 allows you to keep more data at lower cost and access that data whenever you need to without expensive fees or complex recovery procedures.
ActiveScale P2003GEO with Active and Cold Data
The requirements for the next generation of massive data stores are not only that they be self-protecting and disaster-tolerant, but also that they scale cost-effectively. P200 meets this need as a powerful disaster-tolerant solution through its ability to deploy across multiple data centers with full redundancy and non-stop access even in the case of a site failure. Using three P200s, a petabyte scale cluster can be geospread across three data centers.
As data needs grow, requirements may be met by adding P200’s for active data. But moreover, as content ages, many organizations are best served by adding cold data resources at lower cost, by deploying ActiveScale cold storage
, based on Two Dimensional Erasure Coding (2D EC) and the Quantum RAIL architecture. By adding just one tape library at each site, long term cold storage costs can be reduced by up to 80%.
A Powerful Platform Portfolio
The addition of the ActiveScale P200 platform completes an aggressive plan to upgrade the entire ActiveScale portfolio based on a common converged architecture. With scalability from terabytes to exabytes, ActiveScale meets the need for simple, secure, protected data platforms for backup, recovery, and content management in small commercial enterprises to the unstructured data needs of the most demanding and complex IT environments. ActiveScale provides scalable, cost effective, no compromise solutions to meet the growing demand to extract more value from these growing data stores.
ActiveScale Object Storage Platform Portfolio
For more information, you can download the ActiveScale datasheet here
One of the best ways to evaluate new technologies is with hands-on testing in a real-world environment rather than only reading data sheets. Getting hands-on test results from experienced real users provides even more insights.
Along these lines, Storage Review recently completed their hands-on testing
of our Scalar tape products in a lab setting. These tests we performed with Veeam as the application vendor with a focus on the Ransom Block feature, which protects against ransomware. Storage Review has performed extensive hands-on testing for many years on a wide variety of storage devices, drives and disk arrays.
Joint Effort with Veeam, Quantum, and Storage Review
Storage Review travelled to Englewood, Colorado along with the Veeam staff to perform a day-long test of the Scalar products to put them through their paces in the lab. Veeam is a long-time partner with Quantum, so there is a natural synergy.
Ransomware is a key challenge to enterprise businesses, and CTOs and business leaders alike are looking for new solutions to this growing problem. Tape already offers inherent advantages with a built-in air gapping, although some customers need even more protection added into the library to protect against software hackers. This need was the impetus for Ransom Block
, which is a key part of Quantum’s security framework for tape, which offers multiple features to help customers provide strong cyber resiliency. For a detailed product description of Ransom Block, refer to Eric Bassier’s blog
During the lab testing, Storage Review wanted to create a real-world environment with Veeam software, so they setup a lab with a Scalar i6 and Veeam’s backup tools. The test created a secure copy of the data with Veeam, and then used Ransom Block to eject the tape cartridge by just a few millimeters. This small change in position prevents any software intrusion until an operator physically puts the tape back in position.
IT infrastructure is subject to vulnerabilities and can’t be 100% protected, even with tape. Adding physical security and strengthening the air gap reduces vulnerability. That’s where Ransom Block
fits in. Ransom Block employs a simple and unique concept to create a physical barrier between data stored on tapes and the network-connected tape library. Tapes stored in the library sit in magazines. When Ransom Block is activated on a magazine, Quantum’s patent-pending design partially ejects the magazine so that the tapes cannot be picked by the robot until an operator physically re-inserts the magazine.
The lab testing was very successful, and the full review
gives many highlights. Overall, the Storage Review team found Quantum’s tape products to be very easy to work with, and the Scalar products are well integrated with the Veeam application software. Some of the key quotes from the review include:
“Quantum Scalar Ransom Block may just be the best last line of on-prem defense you could ask for.”
“For its part, the entire Ransom Block solution is extraordinarily simple to use both on its own and with software partners like Veeam, as we saw in this case.”
“It’s refreshing to see tape not only alive and well, but also on the leading edge of data protection technologies.”
Quantum is announcing the availability of LTO Ultrium format generation 9 half-height drives in its Scalar i3 tape libraries, Standalone Drives, and Superloader 3. This announcement is preceded by the recent ransom block feature
announced last month that enhances security in the Scalar Tape Library.
Combining security with the high capacity of LTO-9 technology, customers can now have the latest in security innovation and advanced tape solutions to protect data and cope with the massive growth of unstructured data. Quantum Scalar Tape Libraries
create a new and higher standard for addressing customers’ capacity and security needs allowing them to future-proof their archives.
The new LTO-9
delivers 18 TB of native capacity per cartridge and up to 45 TB with a typical compression of 2.5:1 – This is an increase of about 33% compared to LTO-8, and 7x more capacity over LTO-6 extending the value of tape with its low-cost, highly efficient storage. Half-height LTO-9 drives boast a transfer rate of up to 400 MB per second.
With cyberattacks on an upward trend, escalating and evolving with stealthy tactics, organizations need an effective method of defending data against ransomware
. Tape is beneficial in many ways, but one of its primary benefits is its offline “air gap” inherent nature to isolate and protect data. This helps meet the security requirements of highly regulated industries where an offline copy is crucial to recover from should online copies be compromised. The costs that can be incurred if a ransomware attack is successful can be astronomical and compared to the cost of a half-height tape drive or tape library, it makes sense to add this form of insurance to your security arsenal to mitigate risk.
Quantum is taking orders for LTO-9 half-height drive technology available on Scalar i3, Standalone Drives, and Superloader 3. Please visit the Scalar i3
webpage to learn more.
There were two pieces of recent news about tape storage which prove that tape is alive and well, and these articles highlight two reasons why tape has a bright future in 2022 and beyond.
Reason # 1: There are Excellent Use Cases for Tape for Long Term Data Archiving and as part of Cyber-Resilient Infrastructures
The first news is a report published in Enterprise Storage Forum: The Tape Storage Market in 2022
. This report reinforces why tape is more relevant than ever in 2022, and why enterprises and large cloud providers continue to turn to tape because of its unique benefits. In short:
Tape has emerged as a key technology for long term data archiving and cold data storage. It can reliably store data for decades, and since most of the data being generated will be “cold” data – meaning inactive data that must be kept for a long time – tape is an ideal storage solution to help large enterprises manage costs and preserve access to this valuable inactive data.
Tape is green. Although this is one of the benefits of tape for long term data archiving, it deserves its own call out. Tape consumes about 1/5th the power and cooling of HDD technology, and for any organization archiving data for many years, let alone decades, the costs of this add up. Power and cooling costs are rising, particularly in large metro areas, and many organizations are also considering the large environmental impact of powering large data centers. An infrastructure strategy that incorporates tape can address these issues.
Tape is Secure. With the rise in ransomware and cyber-threats, it is no surprise that many organizations that have moved away from tape are now coming back. Keeping a backup copy, or archive copy of critical data on tape provides a secure location to recover from in the event of a ransomware attack. More on that below…
Reason # 2: There is plenty of opportunity for innovation in tape
Wait…what??? Tape is one of the coolest products in 2021???
You bet. Quantum Scalar Ransom Block is an industry-first and helps to address one of the most pressing challenges facing enterprises today – how to build cyber-resilient infrastructure. Ransom Block is the first solution to create a physical block between data tapes and the tape robotic system, providing the strongest air-gap solution possible. So although tape storage systems are inherently more secure than HDD or SSD storage systems, only Quantum tape libraries offer a full suite of features for cyber-protection and cyber-resilience. You can learn more about these features and how they are part of a comprehensive security framework here
Quantum also introduced another breakthrough innovation earlier this year with ActiveScale Cold Storage
. This is a new class of storage for ActiveScale systems that uses tape as the underlying storage medium. So users get a true object storage system, using S3 Standard and S3 Glacier API sets, and can now build an object store using any amount of HDD and tape storage, based on their needs. The entire solution can be deployed as-a-Service.
So the future for tape is bright, and Quantum is going to continue to innovate and lead in the use of tape for long term data archiving and cyber-resilient infrastructures.
Here at Quantum, we are excited to finally be on the road again. Next stop – St. Louis! Next week, SC21, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, is being held at America’s Center in downtown St Louis.
A HISTORY OF INNOVATION
This event has a rich history of showcasing technical innovation in high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure and applications from across a broad spectrum of universities, supercomputing centers, national labs, and industrial research centers.
For Quantum, a couple of themes particularly resonate:
Managing data growth. The ongoing challenge of ingesting, analyzing, and managing massive data sets across their data lifecycle.
Cold data that’s not so cold. The desire to save more data from more sources, plus the need for easy and affordable access to that data now, and long into the future, for continued and periodic computational analysis and recalibration of deep learning models.