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9/4/15 9:22 AM

From Tape to Disk – What Does it Take?

In the 1960s, the BBC wiped the original video tape recordings of Doctor Who.

The reason was simple: Storage was expensive and limited. The BBC needed the tapes for new programs.

Ever since, tape has been used to store the vast amounts of data in video creation, production and playout. Tape is considered to be inexpensive and easy to handle. Tape is also known as not being too reliable and time consuming due to the need of cueing. Somehow, it doesn’t fit into modern times anymore.

Disk storage has taken over most of the data storage business - and is already replaced by flash storage for high speed and I/O sensitive applications, such as database storage. On the other hand, especially for the video business, a lot of companies still use tape storage. Like the BBC did back in the 1960s.

To replace tape storage, a disk based storage system must provide more than current solutions can offer. Such a system must be designed from the ground to compete with tape storage in these three aspects:

  1. Incremental storage cost and TCO: This also includes energy consumption and efforts for maintenance, copying and migration
  2. Offline and transport capabilities: Take it out of the machine, store it somewhere safe - or move massive amounts of data through the sneaker network
  3. Scale out by adding more media: Capacity is just a matter of the number of tapes, but the usual RAID storage does not scale out too well
Of course, a successful approach also must provide the expected benefits of disk storage, its high speed random access, configurable data security, and endless flexibility.

Topics: Media Storage, Video Storage

Author: Hannes Heckel | Leiter Marketing bei FAST LTA

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