While roaming the InterBee 2015 floor, I spotted the new 15TB Fujifilm LTO data tapes which are used for “cold storage” (archiving) by many companies, including Google. Ultrium 7 doubles the capacity of the previous Ultrium 6 product (6.5TB). Fujifilm says that Barium Ferrite (BaFe) magnetic tapes can achieve extremely high data density because of low noise to signal ratio.
One may be surprised that tapes still exists, let alone be a topic of continued innovation, they can be extremely handy when one needs to store dozens of terabytes of data in a single location. Optical discs can attain extreme capacity with triple-layer Blu-Ray drives hitting 100GB, but that’s only a fraction of the 15TB that these tapes can store.
Finally, unlike disk drives, tapes can not only store huge quantities of data for a low price point, but they don’t use any energy, and are more resistant to shocks. Of course, hard drives are much better to store frequently-accessed data, so they don’t really compete with one another.