Sunstar Company, Inc.


According to the Active Archive Alliance, nearly 250 million Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape cartridges have been shipped since the format’s inception. (100,000 PB of data on LTO.)

The realities of a Big Data world and the advances in tape technology, density, reliability and usability have brought the realization to many that we should not be too hasty to forgo tape.

Tape is returning to some organizations that dumped it a while back.

Look Beyond Backup

Most people think of tape as a medium for backup. While it can serve that function well, it has a far broader function these days. With so much data around, the pressure on backup windows needs to be eased by the establishment of an archive.

“Stop thinking about tape just as a backup solution, and instead think differently about storage of unstructured file content,” said Eric Bassier, Senior Director, Product Management, Quantum. “With new tape innovations like Linear Tape File System (LTFS), storing files on tape is easier than ever, and can be as easy as drag and drop.”

Add a Tape Archive Tier

Just as companies found it relatively easy to add a Tier 0 for flash, it is also fairly straightforward to add a lower tape tier as an archive for the bulk of data.

By adding a tape archive, organizations can maintain their existing storage architecture as is and ease its burden by offloading data that is no longer heavily accessed onto a tape archive. By doing so, they can avoid the heavier price tags typically associated with adding yet another high end disk array.

Evaluate Tape Vendors Against Ease of Use

Some tape systems are relatively easy to implement while others can be a little complex – or at least foreign to those more used to flash and disk. So a smart approach is to include ease of use as a priority criterion when deciding which tape product to implement. Vendors such as Crossroads are coming out with tape technology that is said to be as simple as disk to install and operate, and makes it fast to retrieve from the archive.

Use Tape for Large Files

Current video and high-res images should be stored on disk as they are being accessed and worked on daily. But as soon as they are completed, they need to be moved off high-end production systems.

Tape for Really Big Data

There is big data and then there is Big Data.

presently you can store more than 300 Blu-ray quality movies on one LTO-6 2.5 TB cartridge, in the future, an LTO-10 cartridge will hold over 14,400 Blu-ray movies.

Use Tape to Lower Storage Costs

There is no question that a LTFS-based ‘Tape as NAS  will cost significantly less than a disk only solution over a 10-year period.

To learn more about Cost-Effective Storage for Long-Term Data Preservation call Sunstar Company at (800) 663-5523

  • Too much data and not enough primary storage to retain all the data?
  • Unstructured data, seldom reviewed?
  • Tired of backing up the same data (unchanged) time and time again. Reduce backup
  • Secure your data in more than one location,
  • Need to retain data for a many years

Consider archiving your data to either LFT media or less expensive storage with the assistance of the StrongBox from Crossroads.

Follow this link to learn more and please call to get a quote and more information. (800) 663.5523



 To Lean More – Contact Sunstar Company, Inc  sales at (310) 330-2900

Oracle Corp

Oracle has released the StorageTek T10000D enterprise tape drive with 8.5 TB of native capacity and a data transfer rate of 252 MB/s. It is backward read compatible for the three previous generations of this product.

It has 54 percent more capacity per cartridge compared to the previous generation. The company touts it as the first tape drive with support for both 16 Gb/s Fibre Channel (FC) and 10 Gb/s Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Users can drag-and-drop multiple tape volumes onto a single StorageTek T10000D cartridge.

“Oracle’s new StorageTek T10000D tape drive is the fastest and highest capacity drive available,” said James Cates, Vice President, Hardware Development, Oracle. “Customers can use it to accelerate massive consolidation of long-term archives, improve data center efficiency, and lower TCO.”


IBM has released the TS1150 enterprise drive with a native data rate of 360 MB/sec, up about 50% from the previous version (TS1140). It has a capacity of 10 TB per cartridge.

The company has also been busy with the release of LTFS LE version 2.1.4 (Linear Tape File System) which now supports non-IBM tape libraries. And IBM has been working with Quantum and HP on the future of tape with a roadmap they plan to extend to Linear Tape Open (LTO) generations 9, 10 and beyond.

The guidelines these companies have come up with plan to achieve compressed capacities of 62.5 TB for LTO-9 and 120 TB for generation LTO-10. They also plan to push the envelope with compressed transfer rates reaching as high as 2,750 MB/second for LTO-10.


HP has released StoreOpen Automation to simplify the process of using Linear Tape File System (LTFS). LTFS makes tape file-based and easier to use. In addition, it lets users use standard file operations on tape media for actions such as accessing, managing and sharing files. This is done using an interface that behaves similarly to a hard disk. The latest release extends its support to Windows. Previously it was available for Mac and Linux.  This extends LTFS functionality by presenting a tape library and its cartridges as a collection of folders.

Fujifilm Recording Media USA

Fujifilm may not be the first name on anyone’s lips when they think of storage media. Yet the company had made over 100 million Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium data cartridges (53 exabytes) since they were released at the turn of the millennium.

Fujifilm also demonstrated data density levels of 85.9 Gb/in2 on linear magnetic tape using Fujifilm’s NanoCubic and Barium Ferrite particle technologies. This is part of the overall tape roadmap to continue to make it possible to product bigger and bigger LTO cartridges.

“This equates to a standard LTO cartridge capable of storing 154 terabytes of uncompressed data,” said Peter Faulhaber, President of FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A. “Together with IBM, we have been able to create the basis for extraordinary data density on tape that is fast, cost effective and energy efficient.”


Crossroads partners with FujiFilm to provide the StrongBox, which has the aim of making tape as simple to use as disk. StrongBox is said to provide the economics of tape with speed and simplicity of disk.

“We call this Capacity Defined Storage, using the right amount of disk/SSD with the right amount of tape,” said David Cerf, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, Crossroads. “StrongBox has user defined policies to intelligently deliver capacity optimized storage for unstructured data to ensure optimized performance at the lowest cost per gigabyte.


Quantum has introduced StorNext PRO Production. It delivers production, review, archive and LTFS sharing in one system, and is said to offer high capacity and performance.

“This solution integrates Quantum tape technology as part of customer workflows for video content production and archiving,” said Eric Bassier, Senior Director, Product Management, Quantum. “This is a great example of a market where the use of tape is not declining – in fact it is growing.”


LTFS (Linear Tape File System) is a file system specification that allows Linear Tape-Open (LTO) storage technology to be indexed.

LTFS partitions LTO-5 or LTO-6 tapes into two segments called partitions. Partition 0 holds directory structures and pointers that let the tape drive quickly seek specific data from the tape; the data itself is stored in Partition 1. Applying a file system to a tape allows users to organize and search the contents of tape as they would on hard disk, improving access time for data stored on tape. LTFS makes it possible to drag and drop files to tape in the same way that files might be dragged and dropped to disk.

Users can download software that enables the operating system to recognize LTFS.
Utilize the StrongBox from Crossroads, a network attached storage (NAS) appliance that is purpose-built to lower the costs of long-term storage and protection for unstructured, fixed content that works with tape libraries utilizing LTFS drives.
Available from Sunstar Company. To learn more about archiving technology, please call (310) 330-2900 or contact us online