Closing the Data Centre-Tape-Cloud Gap

If you did not have to use tape, you probably wouldn’t.  Tape fills a gap that up until recently disk storage could not.

Tape was created for two main reasons.  The first was for overflow storage. Data volumes exceeded what HDD’s could store and the need for free available disk space forced our hand to use tape.  The second reason was as a transport mechanism.  Tape was used as a transport mechanism to share or transport data from one place to another or from one company to another.

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Today, the two main reasons for the original use of tape are now under direct attack by technology advances that simply make tape less relevant.  The cloud is getting closer to the data centre and in many cases the cloud is in fact becoming the data centre.  Add to that, the increasing bandwidth of the internet and new satellite constellations coming on line that will increase the speed and availability of data transfer and you can see the end of the “Tape as a transport” tag line waning. Closing the geographical distance between data centre and cloud and increasing the speed of transfer means that tape as a transport is slowly losing its competitive advantage. If a company could share, retrieve, or move data from one place or company to another with the click of a mouse, it is safe to say that they would.  The cloud now offers unparalleled transport, replication, and sharing and also makes tape both less useful and far more painful.


In addition, the cloud from AWS, Google, and Azure is effectively an infinite storage container.  If every company that had overflow storage or archiving needs could access disk based storage, then they would – there will be some hardcore guy’s out there who would say – “I would still use tape”, but there would be only a few of them, and with each passing month there would be even less of them. 

So what is tape to do?  It will do its best to keep increasing its capacity and speed, but at the end of the day, technology that no one wants to use but simply is forced to use because of lack of choice is always doomed and ripe for disruption.   Keep an eye on our friends at Seagate Technology as they work on the edge to help close this gap with us.

To read more on the benefits of migrating data from tape to the cloud, please click here.

“Data trapped on tape is data we’re not using”

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Following Tape Ark’s recent announcement of signing a global partnership agreement with data storage giant Seagate Technology, this post delves deeper into importance of liberating data from ageing tape. It explores how the collaboration and pairing of expertise and resources will enable organisations around the world to restore and preserve their valuable, latent data more efficiently. 

Through the use of new edge hardware solutions, previously inaccessible data can be liberated and moved to the cloud, then put to work using technologies such as AI, ML, industry 4.0 and other analytical tools, allowing it’s inherent potential and worth to be exploited for both commercial and discovery gains.

“In the new Data Age — the age of IT 4.0 — data is continuously being created at endpoints, often processed at the edge then transmitted to the cloud to be analysed as part of still-larger sets of relevant data; the migration and activation of all available data sets is crucial for driving digital transformation — and for surviving and thriving as part of the IT 4.0 revolution.”

“To solve our most urgent problems, humanity needs all our data at hand”

To read the full article, written by Seagate’s John Paulsen, please click here.

To read the full Tape Ark media release of the partnership announcement, please click here

Searching for Garden Gnomes and Exploration Data

Searching for Garden Gnomes and Exploration Data

Sometimes it takes a little while for things to sink in. In this instance when I first heard it, I knew there was something profound about it, but was not sure what. The “it” was a comment made at the recent PPDM Conference in Perth. It was a comment made by Doris Ross of Woodside Energy about a seemingly trivial way of doing work, that with hindsight should have significant implications for our industry – SO LISTEN UP! 

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Tape Ark's 3D "Deep Diving into Data" Podcast Currently In Production

A big shout out to everyone PPDM Perth Workshop last week who participated in Tape Ark’s inaugural podcast “Tape Ark 3D – Deep Diving into Data”.  Guy Holmes & Kyle Evans are in the Magic Studios podcast studio this week and  post production work is well under way.  Stay tuned!!  A big thank you to AWS and Petrosys – our podcast sponsors and all interviewees Trudy Curtis (PPDM), Andrew Owen (Geoscience Australia), Ted Fletcher (Woodside), Jess Kozman (Woodside), Doris Ross (Woodside), and Chris Schmid (Unearthed).

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Cloud Storage & Standards Key Take Homes from PPDM Perth Workshop 2018

What an amazing PPDM Association event last week  – the PPDM Perth Workshop was a huge success with a massive record Australian turnout. The Thursday afternoon Seismic DM Panel discussion (hosted by Jess Kozman and including panelists Guy Holmes Stephen Rogers,  Andrew Owen, Andy Cairns and Kerry Blinston) illustrated just how much the industry has evolved in such a short space of time with the an almost unanimous show of support towards the adoption of public cloud storage and reiteration of the importance of Standards within the industry. My cloud jacket was also a hit – thanks for all of the compliments (and hecklers). 

#PPDM #tapetocloud #liberatedata #PerthDMW18 #nomoretape #cloudstoragefashion

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What does data loss look like?

Magnetic tape data decay, data degradation, data rot, data deterioration or just plain ageing legacy tape data.

It doesn’t really matter which term you use – it all ultimately can result in data loss.

Do you know what it looks like? Click here to see what tape data loss actually looks like and the difference between a clean and a damaged tape. You can literally see data loss being recorded as the tape is read.

Saving the World’s Second Largest Collection of Data - DAMA Sydney

Saving the World’s Second Largest Collection of Data - DAMA Sydney

Tape Ark Founder and CEO Guy Holmes is honoured to have been invited to address the Australian Data Management Association (DAMA) Sydney Chapter next Tuesday 8th May and will be presenting a talk entitled “Saving the World’s Second Largest Collection of Data”. 

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Would you wait 4 weeks to stream a Netflix show?

Last week we restored some legacy tape based data for a major Australian mining company. The data were 8 year old drawings of a mine shaft that were needed urgently by the company due to a HSE issue on the mine site. 

The data was written across 8 tapes in NetBackup format and was written from an NDMP server to the tapes. Knowing the urgency of the project, we restored the data in less than 48 hours from receipt of the tapes and hand delivered the data to ensure its safe receipt.

What we delivered was data ACCESS however there is more to the story… 

The data RETRIEVAL part of this story is another matter and that was handled by an offsite storage provider. The tapes took 3 weeks to get picked from a local vault/warehouse in Perth and were eventually delivered to the wrong address. Then a second request was placed to get copies of these tapes, also in a local vault which arrived a further week later. 

So just 48hrs for Tape Ark to access the data, but 4 long weeks to retrieve the data. Good enough?....we think not.

What I still don’t understand is why corporations are willing to put up with this level of service for their highly valuable corporate data, yet at home they expect data-on-demand services like Netflix. Would 4 weeks data retrieval for your critical corporate data be acceptable when you know there is a better way? 

#NoMoreTape #TapeisDead #TapeToCloud #TapeArk

You Wouldn't wait 4 weeks to stream Netflix in your home so why do corporations continue to wait to access valuable data?

You Wouldn't wait 4 weeks to stream Netflix in your home so why do corporations continue to wait to access valuable data?

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Guy Holmes

Guy is a graduate of Geophysics from Macquarie University in Sydney, and has completed a Masters of Business Administration (Technology Management) from Deakin University in Melbourne. 

Guy is a successful leader with a proven track record in the growth of start up and turn around businesses in the IT, medical and information management sectors.

Guy has extensive experience in the oil and gas, minerals, medical, and information management industries in Australia and the Asia Pacific and is a highly regarded entrepreneur.

Guy’s experience includes:

• Sourcing Venture Capital
• Acquisitions and Sales of businesses
• Commercial technology development
• Research and development for internal and external products
• International business development
• Product and service marketing, development, and management
• Multimillion dollar contract negotiations with government and private sectors (International and domestic)
• Development of business and marketing plans, strategy documents , and other executive level documents
• Industry leader in information management, data management, archiving strategies, legacy technology with a particular focus on the management of oil and gas and minerals information and data on a global scale.
• Operational management and refinement to seek maximum profitability
• Grant applications, financing arrangements, and seeking alternative funding

The results that Guy has achieved in his varied roles stand testimony to his abilities to:

• Manage organizational resources to achieve results
• Develop and drive technology solutions to achieve business goals
• Grow businesses that are both start-up and/or stagnant
• Successfully land, negotiate, perform and complete projects both domestically and internationally

Guy has been married for 24 years and has five children. He enjoys playing ice hockey, travel, mountaineering and spending time with his family and reading.