26 September 2013

Faster, cheaper, more durable

Magnetic tape is making a comeback, reports Babbage. It's an important level in the archival storage hierarchy at CERN.
When a tape snaps, it can be spliced back together. The loss is rarely more than a few hundred megabytes—a bagatelle in information-technology circles. When a terabyte hard disk fails, by contrast, the result is usually that all the data on it are lost. The consequence at CERN, specifically, is that a few hundred megabytes of its 100 petabyte tape repository are lost every year. Of the 50 petabytes of data held on hard disk, however, it loses a few hundred terabytes in the same period.
300 TB/yr lost to hard drive failures?!

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