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Future of Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

Future of Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

In today’s scenario, so much content is being produced that handling it is the biggest challenge every company is facing. It won’t be wrong to say that every moment becomes a data for further reference from time to time. And where there is data, there is a need for its storage and preservation. The importance is one notch higher in broadcasting and media industry. There is already an ocean of heritage content to be taken care of and the volume is only increasing day by day. Innovators, over a period of time, have come up with various technologies to manage and optimize content to its best possible condition.

It all started in late 1990’s when technology providers Hewlett Packard, IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation developed and finally introduced the first generation of Linear Tape-Open (LTO), a magnetic tape storage technology in the year 2000 which could hold 100 GB of data in a cartridge. The standard form factor of LTO technology is known by the name Ultrium which is highly scalable and adaptable on multi-platforms like MAC, Linux, and Windows.

LTO has proved revolutionary in terms of data storage with its outstanding performance, capacity, and reliability, combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, data compression, track layout and error correction.
Due to its high success outcome and market demand, regular enhancements have been done and 2017 could see the launch of its 8th generation which can hold data up to 12 TB in a cartridge of the same size. Although, between generations, there are strict compatibility rules clearly defining which drives and cartridges can be used together.

WHY HAS THE INDUSTRY TURNED TO LTO?

The word ‘Tape’ may sound old school but breakthrough enhancement features have made LTO the most suited backup storage medium. Every company needs a storage solution which is high on speed and capacity and has adequate protection levels. Content is available in various forms. LTO Ultrium, being an open format technology provides its users to source data from multiple platforms and store it in a very convenient and easily restored format.
LTO, with each version, have come up with better speed resulting in quick access and recovery. Capacity to store data has increased manifolds. Functionalities like WORM and data encryption provide adequate protection of the valuable data thus by preventing it from getting tampered.

LTO based archiving also proves cost-effective in terms of reduced energy bills and also since storage capacity is ever increasing with each new generation thereby further reducing the cost.

WHAT DOES LTO-8 OFFER?

LTO-8 was recently revealed in 2017, two years after LTO-7. It is obvious to get attracted to the new improved version but many factors go into this big decision making.If we look at the specifications, LTO-8 offers 12 TB of raw data capacity which is 50% more than what is provided by its previous version. The head channel count also goes up to 32 from 16. The compressed transfer rate has also increased from 750 MB/s to 1180 MB/s. The encryption and WORM feature remains the same.

A new feature which aces up LTO-8 is its ability to increase the cartridge capacity of LTO-7 by 50%. LTO-8 drives can also read and write to LTO-7 tapes thus by saving on the huge investments already made.2

So, before making any decision to consider the switchover, a lot of factors have to be considered in terms of budget, usage, last upgraded time and also to what extent the capabilities of new tapes can be leveraged.

To sum up, we can say that when we think of tapes as a storage and recovery solution, we are focussing on future demands of the ever-increasing volume of data which can be stored and accessed in an environment which is secured as well as cost-effective. And LTO, with its roadmap and growth capabilities, promises to be able to endure Big Data challenges with its continuous breakthroughs.

Big Data and Media Organizations: A Big Impact

Big Data and Media Organizations: A Big Impact

If we were to define “Big Data” in the simplest definition, the term refers to voluminous amounts of organized and disorganized data that organizations can potentially mine or examine for business gains. Big data includes volume of data, velocity of data, variety of structured and unstructured data and most importantly data which has perceived value in context to business insights.

The ability to access, analyze and manage vast volumes of data while rapidly evolving the Information Architecture is crucial to Media & Entertainment Companies. Media companies procure reams of data every minute from every sector of their organization-advertising/sales, readership, user ship, content and accounting. The main sources of data collection are Social Media, Web Browsing Patterns, Traditional Enterprise Data from Operational Systems, Data from Data Aggregators, Advertising Response Data, Demographic Data & Historical M&E Data.

No one in the enterprise can ignore the 24/7/365 onslaught of news and social media. The amount of global media, including worldwide production of online and print news, articles, blogs and broadcast has exploded. Business data is doubling every 1.2 years. Social Media is the significant platform for big data. More than 1.4 billion online consumers are spending 22 percent of their time in social media. 172 million individuals visit Facebook each day, 30+ billion pieces of data added to Facebook each month, 40 million Twitter individuals each day, 22 million LinkedIn individual users each day, 20 million Google+ individual users each day, 17 million individual users each day and 2 million blog posts are written each day. Surprisingly, streaming videos take up more than 1/3 of the internet traffic during normal television watching hours. 72 hours of videos are added to YouTube every minute and this number is surely mind boggling. 1.3 exabyte’s of data sent and received by mobile internet users each month, more than 35million apps are downloaded each day and finally “more iPhone’s are sold than babies born each day.”

This revolution in technology will make media advertising enjoy a renaissance of sorts. Technology innovation will make it possible to trim a great deal of waste out of advertising by making it more precise. As advertising becomes more precise, it will become more efficient, which will drive up its ROI. This higher ROI will then lead to more investment in advertising. High advertisement budget will become smart business move. Accessing the right data-set and filtering out the noise contributes immensely to the success of the process.

Netflix’s creation of “House of Cards” is a well-documented example of Big data vis a vis Media & Entertainment Companies. Netflix concluded from the analysis of their customers their likes and dislikes, including ratings that indicated that many were fans of political dramas. Netflix also comprehended that they liked the actor Kevin Spacy and that they appreciated David Fincher’s work. Such well-researched data-set helped frame the highly successful creation of “House of Cards”. The impact on Netflix is that targeted programming is bringing them more subscribers and greater revenue, profitability, and market share.

Finally, not only Media & Entertainment companies, political data analytics has advanced from simple micro targeting to true predictive data science, and the track record is good. The Big data team of Donald Trump, President-elect, United States of America has a mammoth role to play. The polls, the pundits and the models predicted the win months back.  Oczkowski, Director of product for the president-elect’s data team Cambridge Analytica, says, “Data’s alive and kicking. It’s just how you use it and how you buck normal political trends to understand your genre.”

The pattern of consumer consumption of information, movies, music, television and entertainment as well as the competitive nature of M&E companies assure that those that take advantage of big data to augment what they know about their business, will continue to be leaders. They will continue to invent new and better business processes and efficiencies and they will do so by evolving their Information Architecture in an impactful manner.