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SoleraTec exhibits benefits of affordable data tape solutions in video surveillance during hard drive shortages

Published on 21 November, 2011
When storing large amounts of data, digital computer data tape can be substantially less expensive than disk
SoleraTec's digital computer data tape solutions provide for the long-term video retention capabilities

SoleraTec LLC, a provider of innovative video lifecycle management and storage software solutions utilising hard drive systems as well as digital data tape systems, showcases the benefits of affordable data tape solutions in video surveillance and production video management solutions during the recent hard drive shortages.

Thailand, which has experienced significant flooding since October, accounts for roughly 25 percent of all global hard drive facilities, according to industry tracker iSuppli. Western Digital, the world's leading manufacturer of hard disk drives, said global supply may be constrained for several quarters because of the flooding in Thailand. The company has closed all of its facilities in Thailand, after monsoon rains inundated industrial parks near the capital of Bangkok.

Nearly 60 percent of Western Digital's production takes place in Thailand, while the fourth biggest hard drive producer, Toshiba, has about 50 percent of its capacity in the country. "We estimate that our regular capacity and possibly our suppliers' capacity will be significantly constrained for several quarters," Timothy Leyden, Western Digital's chief operating officer, told analysts on an earnings call.

The impact of the floods is expected to cause a 20 million unit shortfall over demand per month. As a direct result prices could rise by up to 50 to 75 percent for hard disks and this will impact finished products down the line.

By contrast, digital computer data tape solutions, such as SoleraTec's Phoenix RSM and Phoenix VCM, provide for the long-term video retention capabilities by efficiently managing affordable data tape libraries.

"Data tape libraries are extremely affordable, reliable and fast. Tape storage solutions can be operated at just a few cents per gigabyte, include data integrity verification features to ensure reliability and perform at speeds of 240MB/second compressed transfer rate per drive.  Video surveillance customers growing appetite for storing video at higher frame rates, increased resolution and longer retention timeframes makes tape a very attractive option in Video Lifecycle Management," said Molly Rector, chief marketing officer for Spectra Logic.

When storing large amounts of data, digital computer data tape can be substantially less expensive than disk or other data storage options. Data tape storage has always been used with large computer systems. Modern usage is primarily as a high capacity medium for storage.

The key difference between PC-class hard disks and data tape is that data tape drives can exchange their magnetic media (the cartridges) frequently, while the magnetic media installed inside each hard disk is fixed and cannot be swapped. (The drives themselves could be moved if they are installed with a hot-swappable infrastructure, for an extra cost.) Mainframe-class data tape drives are almost always installed in robotic data tape libraries which are often large and can hold thousands of cartridges making the low cost benefit of tape clear for organisations of all sizes.

By scaling from gigabytes to petabytes, with multi-tiered storage and ability to effortlessly manage online, near-line, and offline media, Phoenix RSM delivers the best total cost of ownership and is the most affordable, scalable video surveillance solution for long-term retention. Integrating data tape alongside and into an existing hard disk system delivers a more affordable long-term storage solution, especially in these trying times of hard drive availability.

With the current hard disk drive production challenges and the reliable storage capabilities of data tape, consideration of implementing a video surveillance asset management solution based on a combination of hard disk and data tape storage devices reduces the dependency on disk drives while improving the cost-performance ratio of an overall storage management solution.

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