Quantum has decided to quit the business of manufacturing its Scalar tape libraries, outsourcing the job, and laying off almost 200 people in its Colorado Springs facility, with more to follow overseas, according to a person who is close to the action. This move follows five loss-making quarters and six years of declining …
I don't understand
Are people just doing D2D with cleverness like dedupe and compression?
Cause I thought most places still use tape for long term backups and archiving. Am I just behind the times?
Re: I don't understand
You're not behind the times. It's just that with more deduplication being done there is less need for tape drives. I'm doing preliminary scoping work for a new setup and what used to be done by 8xLTO4 drives can now be done by 4xLTO6 (or less) drives.
Re: I don't understand
I am not sure if they can compete in D2D with Data Domain ....
Quantum may fold up in a few Q's
Very few companies make tape libraries these days......
Is the competition that bad or are customers happy with older products?
Would the result been different if more jobs were onshore?
Tapes were meant to be eternal......
Data Domain is fine for unstructured short term data...0-120 days. As you store more and more data DD pops out new boxes like babies. Look at floor space and power consumption if you maintain data for long periods. Tape is still the most economical way of storing long term data, Video, images,..etc.
Another issue DD has is with Structured Data.. i.e databases. Does not dedupe well and performance is a dog.
You may want to look at the Database vendors for their solutions. We use ZFS with HCC for the short term and also place a copy on tape for longer term. ( consideration for the HSM product for archive and backup softwares must also be taken into account)
A real shame
We've been using Quantum's libraries for a while now. They're at least as reliable as the 2 other vendors we worked with before switching to Quantum and were quicker to get fixed when the inevitable mechanical glitch showed up after a couple years of use. We've got a bunch of their libraries in production.
I wished they'd just raised prices - we certainly would have accepted an increase after the good experience we've had with their products.
So, where to now? HP? Overland? Qualstar?
Sign of the times
Over the years we have seen and experienced the decline of tape as customers move from tape to pure disk backup using de-duplication. I still believe tape has a place for keeping data for 1-5 years, it has the lowest cost per GB, is incredibly fast and has advanced error correction built in.
Disk is great if you need to recover file(s) that have been deleted but disks fail and are also not as energy efficient as a tape library.
The advent of LTFS should enable businesses to archive / protect data from tier 1 / 2 storage and make it still accessible at greatly reduced costs.
The issue that will affect IT staff moving forward is the huge amounts of data that is being kept on spinning disks with ever decreasing backup windows and higher electricity bills, the balance that LTFS provides should be considered as why backup archival data daily / weekly that hasn't been accessed in over 6 months?
Tape has been around for more than 50 years and I think it will be around for at least another 25 but who is left to make, develop and improve these systems is anyone's guess as Quantum's move to outsource production is just another nail in a coffin on a technology that really does have a future.
Not getting out of the tape biz
They will still offer and support tape libraries, they are just getting out of the assembly/manufacturing part of the business. They're certainly not alone in doing that, and are only copying what most of their larger competitors are already doing.
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