Adopting a tape data storage solution can save you money. Here’s how Qualstar is uniquely equipped to save you even more.
How Qualstar Saves You Cash
In our last post, we explained how the inherent qualities of tape data storage can save your business money when compared to storage alternatives like hard drives, optical, and solid state. (If you haven’t seen it yet, we’d recommend reading it first. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you here.) So now, let’s move on to the specific ways that Qualstar and our reliable, simple-to-use LTO tape libraries help our customers attain an even higher return on their investment.
Thankfully, the simplicity and reliability of Qualstar libraries mean most issues can be quickly solved by a company’s in-house team. But when you need to call in the big guns, all of Qualstar’s libraries are backed by industry-leading live technical support. Our skilled technicians can diagnosis and fix most problems remotely, maximizing uptime and minimizing headaches for IT teams.
Qualstar’s commitment to using high-quality materials and manufacturing processes means our libraries offer especially long mean time between failures (MTBF). For example, the robot that carries cartridges between slots on the XLS-832700 and XLS-8161100 tape libraries can perform an average of 2 million exchanges before a failure. This reliability means less down time and fewer repairs, keeping backend costs low.
No Slot Licensing Fees
You may have bought a tape library with capacity for hundreds of cartridges…but don’t think that means you can actually use them all. The practice is called slot licensing, and it refers to library owners having to pay extra fees to access additional tape cartridge slots—slots that are already physically present on the library. It’s like having to pay for rooms in a house you’ve already bought! At Qualstar, we never use slot licensing; you always have complete access to all the cartridge slots in your library—just as it should be.
You Control Your Data
Did your system get hit by a ransomware attack, and now you have to restore your data from a cloud backup? Well, you might have to pay a different sort of ransom to get it back in a timely fashion. The ugly secret about many cloud-based backup services is that in the event of a catastrophe, you may have to pay additional fees to expedite the recovery of your data. When not having access to your data means you can’t perform normal business functions, every day means lost revenue—which is why companies will often pony up. However, with a Qualstar tape library, you are in physical possession of your data at all times. This means you can begin recovery as soon as there’s a problem while avoiding unexpected fees.
Having physical possession of your data has other benefits as well. What happens to your information if the cloud company hosting it goes out of business? Or what if they themselves becomes victims of a ransomware attack or other cyberthreat? By possessing your own tape library, you can keep data physically isolated from the internet, safeguarding it from cybercriminals. During a truly catastrophic event when internet service is disrupted for an extended period of time, a tape library will also let you recover while offline.
Qualstar has the distinction of being one of the few remaining independent tape library manufacturers in the world. This freedom allows us to give our customers the opportunity to use a variety of archival software. We don’t force you to buy or lock you into using any particular application. This can help you not only save on software, but also avoid retraining costs if your workforce is already used to a certain program.
One of the greatest things about Qualstar libraries is their modularity. Not only does this allow simple part replacements in the field, it also means you can easily upgrade your system by adding additional cartridges (more storage), tape drives (more tapes accessed simultaneously), and library expansion modules (more space for cartridges and drives). No need to replace an old system when a new tape format comes out, you can simply upgrade the tape drives to take advantage of the latest LTO breakthroughs.
Crossing the Tape
As you have seen in these two posts, tape is the ultimate low-cost, reliable option for the near-line and offline data storage requirements—and the additional savings offered by Qualstar’s customer-focused products and services further sweeten the deal. If you would like to find out if your business could benefit from a Qualstar tape library system, please get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives. And remember, keep checking Qualstar.com for more information and news!
We show you why tape is the prudent pick for cost-effective storage and how Qualstar makes the deal even sweeter.
No matter how well suited a storage solution is for a given application, the practical consideration of cost will ultimately decide whether or not a business can adopt it. That is why we are devoting this post to one of tape’s most attractive features: its low cost compared to other data storage solutions like hard drives, solid state, and optical. In fact, IT research and analysis firm Enterprise Strategy Group estimates that tape storage has an annual total cost of ownership seven times less than disk-based alternatives. Here, we’ll break down the major sources of savings.
Qualstar libraries use the world’s leading magnetic tape storage format, Linear Tape-Open (LTO), which was jointly developed by IBM, HP, and Quantum in 2000. Since then, the standard has been periodically updated to accommodate more storage space and faster throughput, and the LTO Consortium has issued a roadmap for its next four generations.
One of the most readily apparent sources of savings from a tape system comes from a simple comparison of the cost of LTO media versus its alternatives. LTO cartridges are extremely data dense, with the latest generation (LTO-8) offering 12 terabytes of native storage and 30 terabytes compressed. Combine this with their low cost—about $119 for an LTO-8 cartridge—and you get a price per terabyte of about $9.92. A 7200 rpm SATA HDD with the same capacity is about $320, which gives you a price per terabyte of $26.66—nearly three times higher. The latest generation of HDDs attempt to close this gap, but subsequent generations of LTO tape (as outlined by the roadmap) will only sharpen the divide by increasing capacities up to 192 TB (uncompressed) per cartridge with LTO-12.
The extremely low power consumption of tape libraries when compared to their alternatives (especially hard drives) is one of their largest sources of ongoing savings. While hard disk arrays have faster read/write speeds, it comes at a cost, as the platters inside the hard disks must continue spinning at all times—even when not being accessed. This ends up wasting a tremendous amount of energy, which not only increases its cost of ownership, but also your organization’s carbon footprint.
Tape, on the other hand, only requires power when the library’s drive is writing or accessing data. Once data is written to tape, it can be stored for up to 30 years without requiring any power. The numbers bear this out: According to IBM, hard disk systems use 70 times more energy than tape systems. Eliminating that wasted energy can translate to big savings as well as a significant drop in your company’s C02 emissions.
Another inherent cost benefit of tape is its extremely long life span, which beats just about anything out there. Where properly stored, tape can maintain data integrity for up to 30 years. This is especially important for archival applications, as it allows companies to store data for extended periods without incurring the downtime and cost associated with replacing media and transferring your data to it.
We have already discussed the superlative data density of tape and how it contributes to the low cost per terabyte rate of tape, but that density also contributes to another, less obvious source of savings—its smaller physical footprint. Because tape libraries can pack dozens of petabytes into a single unit measuring just a few feet in width and depth, IT teams require less floorspace to store the same amount of data. This allows businesses to avoid having to acquire more space to accommodate the libraries and to utilize the space they save for more productive purposes—both of which contribute positively to their bottom lines.
Tape is the ultimate low-cost, reliable option for the near-line and offline data storage requirements. If you would like to find out if your business could benefit from a Qualstar tape library system, please get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives.
In our next post, we’ll explore the unique ways beyond the inherent benefits of tape that Qualstar helps your business save money. Check back soon!