The 7th edition of the Future of Data Protection & Retention workshop (formerly known as the “Future of Tape” workshop) took place at the IBM Research – Zurich Laboratory on 8 – 9 November 2016 in collaboration with IBM Systems. And we have been there. Michal Štěrba, CEO of M Computers, participated in the workshop and he brought not only interesting findings but also important contacts.
Interesting solutions and future of storage capacity
At this two-day event spoke various IBM specialists and also several IBM customers. In this workshop IBM offered the expertise to help client tune their storage strategy to meet the needs. One of the speakers was our customer – David Antoš from Cesnet (Czech republic), who presented system of HSM storages, that we supplied to Cesnet. He appreciated solutions built on tapes and IBM GPFS system (Spectrum scale). More about HSM at the end of the article.
Another IBM customer, who had presentation on the workshop, was Françoise Jac from Metéo France. He talked about IBM Tape technology, which they used primarily for saving over the use of expensive discs.
„Very interesting was the part concerning the future of storage capacity, compared with the possibility of HDD, SSD, tape and optical media.“ said after return Michal Štěrba.
In the other blocks speakers talked about future of storage capacity. The common denominator was the storage capacity per square inch. While the disc is currently achieved in the physical highs around 2000GB / in2, tape drives are around units Gb / in2. However, IBM has created an experiment tape with capacity of 123Gb / s and showed further growth opportunities for tape capacity for the next 10 years (estimated capacity to 250TB tape around for about 10 years). All based on the fact, that more space for the data to discs already does not fit, however due to their architecture tapes have ability to store data on a much larger area (about 1000x larger).
HSM (Hierarchical storage management)
CESNET, for which we have supplied HSM, is an association of universities of the Czech Republic and the Czech Academy of Sciences. It operates and develops the national e-infrastructure for science, research and education which encompasses a computer network, computational grids, data storage and collaborative environment. It offers a rich set of services to connected organisations.
HSM storage system is scalable storage solution build on IBM GPFS software. This versatile infrastructure for data storage (HSM = Hierarchival Storage Management) is particularly interesting in its capacity because this solution is made possible with fixed costs to achieve significantly higher storage capacity than with rotation discs.
The user alone does not know direct data placement, because of the automatic system of transfers between layers thanks to the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and IBM GPFS (General Parallel File System). If the user wants access data, which are used less and therefore has been relegated to the back layers of storage (tape), the system must first move the data back to the disk array, which can take some time (usually in seconds or minutes). That the user does not care. The system arrange it automatically.