Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE-- IBM Research Pumps New Life into Tape--May 22, 2006

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1. Commentary
- IBM Research Pumps New Life into Tape
- Calling All Windows IT Pro Innovators!

2. From the Community
- Find the Right Undelete Solution

3. New and Improved
- Winternals Releases New Version of Recovery Manager
- DataPreserve Expands Remote Data-Protection Service
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources

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==== 1. Commentary: IBM Research Pumps New Life into Tape ====
by Elliot King, [email protected]

Storage vendors' emphasis on disk-based storage and backup products might cause IT pros to wonder whether the tape-based storage technologies they've relied on for years have much of a future. But recent IBM research bodes favorably for tape, although it will probably take a while for the research to come to fruition as actual products.

Earlier this month, IBM recorded a new world record in magnetic- tape data density. Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center were able to cram data onto a tape at a density of 6.67 billion bits per square inch, or more than 15 times the data density of the current generation of tape drives. The breakthrough in density derives from advances associated with hardware, software, and tape-coating technologies. IBM developed a more sensitive read-write head that uses giant magnetoresistive (GMR) head materials that can sense very small magnetic fields in hard-disk drives. IBM also improved tape- handling features and developed new software that can process captured data faster and more accurately than before.

Part of IBM's breakthrough came through the company's relationship with Fuji Photo Film. Fuji collaborated with IBM researchers to develop a new high-density, dual-coated particulate magnetic tape by using barium-ferrite magnetic media. Fuji also used a new coating technique, which its researchers say is more commercially viable than other systems used to create high-density magnetic tape. And according to Fuji, manufacturers can produce the new tape media by using their existing equipment.

Although commercial products based on these technical breakthroughs probably won't enter the market for another five years, IBM's Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology now has a clear roadmap from its current capacity of 400GB per cartridge through to a capacity of 8TB of uncompressed data per cartridge, says Bruce Master, senior program manager for IBM's worldwide tape storage systems. The current generation of LTO was introduced at the end of 2004, but by next year, according to Master, LTO-4 with a capacity of 800GB will appear on the market. He anticipates that tape- cartridge capacity will double every two years or so.

At the same time, the cost per gigabyte for tape should continue to plunge. My calculations with Master over the phone indicate that the cost of 1MB of storage has dropped by a factor of 1000 from when the first generation of LTO technology was introduced in 1998.

Of course, LTO isn't the only tape-storage format in the market. Tape continues to be a fiercely competitive sector, and Master anticipates that other vendors will continue to invest in their technology and make significant capacity gains as well. The tape- storage sector will expand 8 to 10 percent a year through 2011, says Master.

This kind of spirited competition means tape should be able to retain a significant total cost of ownership (TCO) edge over competing storage approaches. As the demands for storing huge amounts of data for longer periods of time continue to mount, the need to store more information in less space will grow as well. When tape is bundled with compression capabilities, it will be able to store petabytes of information on a single data cartridge.

Even as capacities increase, however, the role for tape storage promises to become more focused over time as companies use tape primarily for archiving, business continuity, and specific data- protection applications. The good news for storage users, though, is that, with a clear development roadmap, tape clearly will play an important role in their storage strategies for a long time to come.

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==== 2. From the Community ====

Find the Right Undelete Solution

Storage/Backup/Recovery member "Quadraphonic" accidentally deleted files on an NTFS partition and needs help finding a file- recovery solution. If you can offer advice, please join the discussion at

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, [email protected]

Winternals Releases New Version of Recovery Manager

Winternals Software released version 3.0 of its Recovery Manager backup and recovery software, which prevents data loss on Windows systems because of factors such as faulty patches, power disruptions, and malware attacks. New features in Recovery Manager 3.0 include a bare-metal recovery capability, open-files protection, and Windows x64 system support, among others. An administrator can use the product to rebuild damaged or corrupted hard drives without having to reinstall the OS and also take recovery points of open files, such as database files, without disabling them first. For more information about Recovery Manager 3.0 and product pricing, contact Winternals on the Web:

DataPreserve Expands Remote Data-Protection Service

DataPreserve has expanded its regional remote-data-backup service to include the entire United States. DataPreserve is now offering its online data-protection services, which are geared toward small- to-midsized businesses (SMBs), to US SMB and home customers starting at $14.95 per month. DataPreserve's service uses backup software that compresses and encrypts a customer's data and sends it to a tier IV remote facility, then backs up that data to another tier IV remote facility. Customers can access their data 24 x 7. For more information, contact DataPreserve on the Web:

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