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Vblogs from the Edge: The Only Solution to the Zpocalypse – Tape

by Administrator on October 31, 2016

zpocalypse2Just in time for Halloween, long time friend Ed Childers, who also happens to be IBM’s LTFS Lead Architect and Tape Development Manager, agreed to be interviewed at this year’s IBM Edge 2016.  Ed caught us up on all things tape, from the realization (finally) of the long predicted Renaissance in tape technology to the latest developments in tape-augmented flash and disk storage.  Have to admit it, Ed is my brother from another mother.

Childers has been doing a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation for the last could of years — tape just wasn’t getting the respect it deserved from the user community or the industry.  But with the “zettabyte apocalypse” around the corner, tape is suddenly very sexy.

Regular readers will recall that the zpocalypse to which we refer isn’t a Halloween novelty, it is real.  According to leading analysts, we are expecting between 10 and 60 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1000 exabytes) of new data to hit our combined storage infrastructures by 2020.  This has cloud farmers and large data center operators quite concerned.  Back of envelop math says that only about 500 exabytes of capacity per year can be manufactured by all flash chip makers collectively, while output from disk makers hovers somewhere around 780 exabytes per year.  Taken together, that totals less than 2 percent of the capacity required at the upper limit of projected data growth.



The only way that we will possibly meet the demand for more storage is by using tape.  With 220 TB LTO Ultrium cartridges within striking distance, smart cloud and data center operators are already exploring and deploying tape technology again.  Ed is now officially the guy who women want to meet and men want to be.  Here are some of his observations.


Thanks, Ed Childers, for taking the time to chat with us.  And thank you to IBM for inviting us to attend Edge 2016 and for allowing us to use some of the availability of your best and brightest in these video blogs.

For the record, IBM covered the costs for our attendance at IBM Edge 2016 and they gave us a small stipend for live tweeting their general sessions.  The content of these video blogs and other opinions on this post are ours exclusively.

For those who are not familiar with our take on the zpocalypse, here is a refresher, staring Barry M. Ferrite…


And here is the follow-on video…



Thanks again to Ed and to IBM. Great show, that IBM Edge!


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