IBM Elevates Tape Storage to the Cloud
June 9, 2015
Did you think we left latency and bad blocks behind with tape storage? Get ready to revisit them, because “IBM Cloud Will Reach Back to Tape for Low-Cost Storage,” according to ComputerWorld. We noticed tape storage was back on the horizon earlier this year, and now IBM has made it official at its recent Edge conference in Las Vegas. There, the company was slated to present a cloud-archiving architecture that relies on a different storage mediums, including tape, depending on an organization’s needs. Reporter Stephen Lawson writes:
“Enterprises are accumulating growing volumes of data, including new types such as surveillance video that may never be used on a regular basis but need to be stored for a long time. At the same time, new big-data analytics tools are making old and little-used data useful for gleaning new insights into business and government. IBM is going after customers in health care, social media, oil and gas, government and other sectors that want to get to all of their data no matter where it’s stored. IBM’s system, which it calls Project Big Storage, puts all tiers of storage under one namespace, creating a single pool of data that users can manage through folders and directories without worrying about where it’s stored. It incorporates both file and object storage.”
A single pool of data is good. The inclusion of tape storage in this mix is reportedly part of an attempt to undercut IBM’s cloudy competitors, including AWS and Google Cloud. Naturally, the service can be implemented onsite, as a cloud service, or as a hybrid. IBM hopes Big Storage will make cloud pricing more predictable, though complexity there seems inevitable. Tape storage is slower to deliver data, but according to the plan only “rarely needed” data will be stored there, courtesy of IBM’s own Spectrum Scale distributed storage software. Wisely, IBM is relying on the tape-handling experts at Iron Mountain to run the tape-based portion of the Big Storage Project.
Cynthia Murrell, June 9, 2015