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January 26, 2010


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Alex Chekholko

I don't think you're saying "tape is dead", I think you're saying "the tape industry won't grow". Tape is the optimal solution for some problems, e.g. the "archive" problem that you mentioned. And that's not going away.

I agree that it's not a growth industry, but I plan to still be using LTO-X tapes in a decade...

Daniel S.

This just doesn't make sense to me. Why does EMC and other vendors keep offering bigger and bigger drives in their arrays or implementing deduplication technologies? By your logic you're making it cheaper to store the data because you don't need such huge arrays anymore. Datadomain and other deduplication technologies would in fact be signing their own death warrant because nobody would need to buy disk anymore.

In reality you need continued capacity growth of tape media for the same reasons you need continued growth of disk technology... we have an ever expanding need to store more and more data. If you can sell the expanded technology for cheaper you're individual unit sales may not be as much but you'll likely sell more and remain competitive when other vendors can provide increasingly smaller and cheaper systems that outperform the big ones.

Ricardo Costa

Daniel S., it starts to make sense when you keep in mind that bigger tapes will be extremely important to archive data, not for backup.

For backup, bigger disks (along with faster appliances) will be extremely important to backup data, not to archive it.

That said, both parties (tape and disk vendors) are signing their own death warrant. It's good, natural, and expected when talking about IT and our personal lives.

Everybody needs to reinvent and adapt to new times and needs. Tape, as their business is today, will die. Disks, the way it is today, will also die somehow and sometime. I can't see any surprises here...

Are we still seeing k7 walkmans around? Phones that only talk (funny)? Cars becoming more oil consuming? Let's face it: everything changed, died, and those companies are still there reinventing themselves (some way stronger them before - see Apple, Intel, Oracle, etc).

What prevents this scenario to make sense is to look into new directions but keeping our minds in the past. I understood what Scott tried to position and I agree. I also understand your confusion, but you are holding yourself in a "words game" rather then have a broader vision about those changes. If you keep your attention to the analogies and "wording", you will miss the whole thing around this article and IBM's announcement.

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