Sony Crams 185 TB of Storage onto Tape Cartridge

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Sony Crams 185 TB of Storage onto Tape Cartridge

Sony Data Tape Cartridge 310x

Over 40 times more storage than your precious 4 TB hard drive, in cassette form.

Sony just shattered the data tape record, as it managed to create tech for a 185 TB cartridge. That's an incredible leap over the typical 2.5 TB capacity seen in data cartridges today.

IT World says Sony has new tape with capacity at "...148 gigabits per square inch, roughly 74 times the density of standard tapes"

The new tapes aren't for sale just yet -- this is all in the prototype/R&D phase still -- but if they're ever released, these tapes could house 185 TB of uncompressed data, or up to 370 TB if the data is compressed.

Again, from IT World: "To make the new recording material, Sony used a kind of vacuum thin film-forming technology called sputter deposition. The process involves shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate, which produces layers of magnetic crystal particles."

The last data storage record was set by IBM, who created a 125 TB prototype back in 2012.

Tape storage might not be a powerhouse in the consumer space, (and yes, it's weird that we're talking about data tape storage on The Escapist, but it's cool, so pipe down), but thousands of companies still rely on magnetic tape cartridges for cheap, reliable data housing. How cheap? A 2.5 TB Sony tape costs under $62 on Amazon. Tape isn't the fastest form of storage, but it's incredibly reliable and long-lasting, making it a favorite medium for data archival and IT departments.

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This is great, I once had an intern on a place where they filmed stuff and raw footage archive was huge, this would reduce the amount greatly

You could make one hell of a long mix tape with one of those.

Good grief, that's an insane amount of apace.

I don't know how much demand there will be for it beyond long term storage if they haven't increased the data input speed compared to current tape drives but it is an impressive achievement.

CriticalMiss:
You could make one hell of a long mix tape with one of those.

Good luck finding a specific song if you play that on a road trip.

Fast Forward, Fast Forward... Damn, I went 30 gigabytes too far... Rewind... Rewind...

Ed130 The Vanguard:
Good grief, that's an insane amount of apace.

I don't know how much demand there will be for it beyond long term storage if they haven't increased the data input speed compared to current tape drives but it is an impressive achievement.

Backups and archiving are really one of the only remaining uses for these sorts of tapes anyway. The average user will simply not have a use for 185 TB's of space. But businesses with massive amounts of data and backup needs? Absolutely.

that's about half the size of the average Steam library right? Still, nice to see the classics still kicking around. Just keep it away from the speakers.

Sweet, my car still has a cassette player in it. That means I'll be able to listen to 185 TB's worth of music on a single tape right? RIGHT?

What's the lifespan on one of these things? I won't be interested unless it's at least 10 years (preferably 15-20)

P.S. Thanks

But...you...why...Sony, quit making my brain ache with your awe-inspiring and utterly esoteric stuff!

Of course, the part of my brain that isn't gibbering right now is going, "Hmmm. Good. Soon, we will have enough room to make the transfer."

Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

This is great. Remember those sci-fi movies or episodes of Doctor Who and stuff where the massive futuristic computers have tape readers? Well...there you have it! They're all Sony terabyte tape-readers.

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Tape drives are good for long-term storage of data.

At a previous job we had one of our main fileservers die, and take its RAID array with it -- our IT department had backups on tape, so we ended up not really losing anything.

According to Wikipedia, this IBM format seems to be fairly popular, and it can store 4TB, at a higher sequential transfer rate than the fastest hard drives.

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Its not actually strange at all. Big companies use these things for backup because they are cheap and reliable compared to standard storage, they aren't aimed at individual users like you and me.

OT: That's... Quite a lot of date. I'll have to see if my one college teacher who works in a data center is excited about this. I could certainly see it cutting down on the physical size of archives, and possibly costs in the long run. That said it may be better to have data spread out over more tapes because then you have less to lose if one fails or is lost.

Does that mean we get a Commodore 185tb? Would love a new Creatures and Turrican.

How many of these do you reckon it'd take to install Titanfall 2 on?

Retro tech is the future, how cool is that! Now I'm hoping for that kind of retro future look Ridley Scott's Alien film had!

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Actually for big backup applications Tape has yet to be replaced. There was a great article i saw regarding how tape compares to Hard Drives and even solid state drives. Newer Tape standards are faster read and write speed than even alot of HDDs set up in parallel for extra throughput, it is also much less prone to data loss. Solid sate is faster but lacks capacity and is hugely expensive.

If you want to store a lot of data efficiently and permanently then Tape is still the best option. It's one of those quirks of big archival data not many people realize.

Neat. I've been thinking about getting a tape drive for years to make easy backups without almost literally juggling the entire family's hard drive collection plus my 3TB of junk. The media is super cheap with its $/GB ratio, and these super huge formats might drop prices of the smaller ones even more. The only problem is all of the drives cost $1000 or more. (Being meant for enterprise use, they better be made out parts precision machined from admantium and mithril. I'd rather not pay out the ass just because demand is low.)

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Businesses, dependant on jurisdiction, have to keep everything for at least 7 years. If a disagreement about contract comes up and don't have the documents from a 5 year old contract, then you lose. If someone claims sexaul harremnest by email and you have deleted all emails form 6 years ago, then you lose. Tax audits can go back that far. For a large business you need cheap, reliable long term dead storage of data and tape is the best available.

Next up: the 185-TB punch card!

I'd love to see how much confetti that'd make. ;)

Damn.
Consider me deeply impressed.

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

They are still used for backup purposes. Offcourse they can hold much more data than the average tape from the 90. Pretty reliable stuff aswell actually.

josemlopes:
This is great, I once had an intern on a place where they filmed stuff and raw footage archive was huge, this would reduce the amount greatly

Yeah, if you do a lot of filming, it can eat through even BD media. This clearly isn't for everyone, but it most definitely has its use.

CriticalMiss:
You could make one hell of a long mix tape with one of those.

I'll say. My MP3 library is about 300 GB. I could go lossless!

And then some!

Avaholic03:
Sweet, my car still has a cassette player in it. That means I'll be able to listen to 185 TB's worth of music on a single tape right? RIGHT?

Oh, totally....

>.>

<.<

What?

FalloutJack:
This is great. Remember those sci-fi movies or episodes of Doctor Who and stuff where the massive futuristic computers have tape readers? Well...there you have it! They're all Sony terabyte tape-readers.

Aren't those reel-to-reel tapes, though?

Clearly, they're using more sophisticated methods in the future.

Chaosritter:

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Nah. 4K will be Laserdisc. 8K will be VCR.

albino boo:

Businesses, dependant on jurisdiction, to keep everything for at least 7 years. If a disagreement about contract comes up and don't have the documents from a 5 year old contract, then you lose. If someone claims sexaul harremnest by email and you have deleted all emails form 6 years ago, then you lose. Tax audits can go back that far. For a large business you need cheap, reliable long term dead storage of data and tape is the best available.

The kind of data your talking about in no way merits this level of storage, though. Unless it's backing up like, data on every person on the pla....Well played, NSA....

Something this size will be super useful, but I doubt most businesses will need anything close to that.

I love how everyone on this thread criticizing this medium seems to be under the impression that older formats are magically obsolete the moment the how new thing rolls around. I suppose growing up during the rise of digital media will do that do you.

"Oh my god, Sony's HVD stores 6TB on a single disc? Time to chuck all my Blu-Rays in the trash!"

I'm not going to rant about how useful these tapes actually are, as the more sensible folks above have already pointed this out several times.

Ed130 The Vanguard:
Good grief, that's an insane amount of apace.

I don't know how much demand there will be for it beyond long term storage if they haven't increased the data input speed compared to current tape drives but it is an impressive achievement.

If they can keep the same tape speed then LTO-6, which can stream uncompressed data at 160MB/s with a density of 2GB per square inch, this one should go at 11840MB/s, as it got a density of 148GB per square inch. But do note I say if keep same tape speed, which I think is unlikely.

Ten Foot Bunny:
Next up: the 185-TB punch card!

I'd love to see how much confetti that'd make. ;)

DAY 163

We did it. We got the whole card up in the air, using an army of millions. Very slowly we walked, arms straining in the darkness under the card as we progressed forward.

After sixteen agonizing steps, the machine began to whir. The card began to slowly drag forward off of our hands as the machine began to pull. We stopped, letting the card drift over our hands as it moved faster and faster. Tears began to riddle the card as the immense force began to pull it to pieces.

Five hours later, the card drifted from our burning hands as the machine dragged it to its doom. We all fell to the ground in an exhausted wave, wishing that we would be paid more. But Wikipedia wanted EVERYTHING punched to the card, so EVERYTHING punched to the card they would get. Word said that more privileged users than us were having petty fits in the editing wars on various political topics today in anticipation for the great punch.

There was a hideous silence.

There was a BANG so loud I thought the world have broken in half.

Then a small "ding".

A moment later, the card ejected. Trillions and trillions of pinholes infested the card as it sailed over us. People stood to catch it.

Time to start pulling.

Sounds great!

Is 65$ for 2.5TB supposed to impress me? That's in the same range as a HD ...

I understand that tape is a great way to store data, but if you're looking for cheap long-term storage for incredibly large files, I'd think you'd want something a little bit harder to lose. It's not like there's anyone out there saying to themselves "I want to store over 100 TB of data, but I only have room for one cassette tape".

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

Interestingly, data storage suffers from the same limitations as rocketry, the Tyranny of the Rocket.

Basically, if you have a 1TB harddrive, then to back it up, you need another 1TB hard drive. If you figure a hosting company, or a company that does simulation computing has entire server rooms of servers, each with their own 1TB drive(lets say, 500 servers) that means you need 500TB of storage to back up the servers a single time.

Obviously one day's backup is useless, so lets say we take rolling backups for a week. Now you have 3,500TB of disk space you have to accommodate solely for backups. And this is in addition to the 500TB the servers use just for their drives.

Even figuring high capacity drives, that's an obscene number of hard drives you need in order to keep only a week's worth of backups. Then you account for drives going bad, storage/electrical requirements, etc. And it all gets ridiculously large and expensive.

Meanwhile, with these tapes, you'd need 20 tapes to back up a weeks worth(3,500TB of data) of server snapshots. 20 wouldn't fill even a decent-sized cardboard box. And they keep for a VERY long time, and require no electricity.

So yeah, tapes in 2014. Pretty big deal in certain circles ;)

ToastiestZombie:
How many of these do you reckon it'd take to install Titanfall 2 on?

25.

2 for the actual game, the rest for every single language and accent in the world.
Want to play Titanfall 2 in French spoken by a drunk British man doing a bad Irish accent? Now you can!

Covarr:
What's the lifespan on one of these things? I won't be interested unless it's at least 10 years (preferably 15-20)

P.S. Thanks

Last I checked tapes have a shelf life of ~100 years.

OT: Goddamn Sony, I'm impressed.

This isn't my area of expertise. Why would you still use magnetic tape for data storage?

PS5, bringing tapes back as a storage medium: GET READY FOR SPECTRUM SCREECH!

In all seriousness, that's actually ridiculously cool, think of all the uncompressed archival footage you could store on that, making it not only easier to find, but easier to release things in upscaled formats. :D

Chaosritter:
Storage tapes. In 2014.

What is this, the twilight zone? Will 4k players actually be VCR's?

You know those spinny tape thingies you see in computers from the 1950s? I dunno their name.

We still have those. Its cheaper than a hard drive if you store a lot of stuff. This just extended their life spans for large archives.

No one uses them for small scale storage anymore. But archives do.

EDIT: okay it seems only 2 escapists know that tapes still exist and beat hard drives for mass data storage. That's depressing.

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