Millennials may relate to this piece of news as the nostalgia of their childhood, and Generation Z’s may not relate at all, but tape storage is set to come in capacities of 400 TB. Yes, dear Gen X and baby boomer reader, I am talking about similar technology that brought us such technological advancements as the cassette tape (Remember where we used to listen to our jams to? Mixed tapes for road trips and the format for our boomboxes and Walkmans before the CD rendered them obsolete?) and the VHS (home videos galore before they became “digital”). Apparently, data storage geeks have not given up on that technology and have continuously developed them throughout the years and now, it seems that it will outpace the progress done on the “traditional” hard drives we currently enjoy. How’s that for a “revenge of the throwback nerds”?
But before you, movie pirate, data fiend, or storage junkie, rejoice, hold your horses for a bit. The current batch of tape drives, the ones that have the capacity to contain mind-boggling amounts of data is not for personal use. They are currently available for use for data centers only, as their physical formats do not allow them to be connected to PCs and laptops yet, and these are the gadgets that personal users usually connect their hard drives to. So, we still have to exercise a bit of patience and wait for this piece of tech to be available to us in a few years, maybe? In the meantime, let us be happy with the advances being made in storage.
What is this tape drive?
Tape drives use tapes to store data and Fujifilm, a leader in this field recently announced they have produced a tape drive with a capacity of 384 TB! That is 384 times the capacity of the current popular standard of 1 TB in hard drives. That is an astounding amount of music and photo files that can fit in that drive!
At 384TB, a single LTO-13 tape is likely to be the single biggest unit of storage in the world, far outclassing hard disk drives (with capacities stalling, having grown by only 2TB per generation) and solid state drives, which reached 100TB in 2018 and then stopped growing.
No stopping tape technology
And if that’s not enough, pundits predict constant improvements in tape technology with native storage capacities of 12 TB (already impressive, isn’t it?) set to improve in the coming months.
While hardly anyone expects tape-based backup to become the dominant approach it once was, state-of-the-art tape systems now provide a native storage capacity of 12 TB with LTO-8, and even higher with the upcoming LTO-9 — better than hard disk storage and often faster than the cloud.
Enjoy improvement in the HD sphere
As mentioned earlier, tape drives are not for personal use yet. So, for the meantime, let us appreciate the advancements made with hard drives, which are no joke as well.
Long gone are the days when gigabytes were a precious resource (and terabytes were simply unheard of): Today’s hard drives are bigger and cheaper than ever, and if you’re looking for some additional physical storage for your precious data, then you don’t have to look too far to find a good cheap external hard drive that will meet your needs — without draining your bank account.
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