IBM rolls out massive new offering
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IBM rolls out massive new offering

In the world of backup tape archives, some may think that 60 years is more than enough time for a single kind of resource to remain among the rackspace of an organization. For those in the know, however, the usefulness of magnetic tape storage has not seen its end. In fact, as IBM revealed recently, it is about to see a whole new era of big data functionality.

New data horizons
IT experts have begun to fear the rising face of big data storage, which threatens to topple existing document management structures, requiring zettabyte capacity within the next few years. Gartner stated in a recent eWeek article that companies will spend nearly $30 billion this year trying to find better resources to keep track of and safely secure these new files. Next year's projections are even higher, with upward trends projected to continue through 2018.

"Because big data's effects are pervasive, big data will evolve to become a standardized requirement in leading information architectural practices, forcing older practices and technologies into early obsolescence," said Gartner's Mark Beyer in a ZDNet interview. Businesses of all kinds will soon be in the market for higher-capacity storage devices, pushing spending ever upward on an annual basis.

Leading the charge
Known for its innovative thinking and ability to produce ahead of the curve, IBM is premiering a magnetic tape drive that will top any other existing solid-state resource currently on the market. The Register wrote the company will soon unveil a 125TB single-tape drive that will run on LTO-6 technology, providing shingled data structuring and automatic encryption of all file types.

The level of security, quality of data storage and overall effectiveness of this approach will allow businesses to wrangle information more efficiently. The source noted that IBM announced that overlapping rack technology is now available through LTO-6, but the company is also already working on LTO-7 and higher raw storage capabilities. What's more, because this storage method is more static than disk storage, and can store much more information than cloud resources, it's highly more cost-effective than its competitors.

IBM's future in tape drives is still emerging, according to The Register. The technology company hopes to work up to LTO-11 and a compressed individual tape size of over 250TB in the near future, but for now, companies getting ready for the big data wave may find saving grace in IBM's current array.