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Which technology has affected tape storage capacity the most?

Learn how Barium Ferrite perpendicular magnetic recording has impacted tape storage.

The biggest development in tape storage capacity was probably a demonstration by Fujifilm and IBM of Barium Ferrite perpendicular magnetic recording. It's basically using a new surface coating and manufacturing process on tape that gives us an uncompressed capacity of 154 TB per tape cartridge on a single LTO cartridge.

These cartridges don't cost a lot of money, so we're probably talking about the lowest cost per gigabyte that's ever been invented for storage. Barium Ferrite has been the story for a few years now when it comes to increased tape storage capacity. Historically, tapes have been coated with magnetic particle technology.

Perpendicular magnetic recording on disc allows us to squeeze a lot more data on to the same amount of turf. It is accomplished by running a small static electric charge through it during manufacturing. Barium Ferrite does that through a chemical process on the tape media. In the past, this was believed to be impossible because tape is flexible and doesn't have a rigid surface.

Sony also demonstrated a different methodology for coating tape that it says will get you to 180 TB per cartridge uncompressed. But that hasn't been prioritized yet. I would say Fujifilm is a better bet. They actually have the processes in place to deliver.

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This was last published in February 2015

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What are your tape storage capacity needs?
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We have resorted to using tape storage for backing data in our organization. Since we need to store some data for an indefinite period of time, we usually use tape storage. This prevents clogging up our servers and our network with data that we are not using on a daily basis. Since the amount of such data will continue to increase in future, tape offers the best option, as opposed to disk based storage.
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Fujifilm and IBM have truly revolutionized the tape media industry. This, of course, is via Barium Ferrite, which secures 154 TB storage capacities.
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