Stutch Data Services supplies LTO tapes to its Australian resellers and customers and uses them in-house. The LTO tape they have is used for archive, old files and records that may need to be accessed at a later date; files and records kept for legislative requirements such as tax, payroll and superannuation and files and records for defence of a company’s actions in case of litigation. Recently the company has seen a surge in the sale and use of LTO tapes and in particular FUJIFILM LTO tapes.
General Manager at Stutch Data Services Richard Stutchbury explained, “We buy and sell tapes from all manufacturers but it’s FUJIFILM that has the largest market share with us. We’ve sold significantly more Fujifilm LTO tapes over the last 12 months compared to the 12 months before that. The amount of FUJIFILM LTO tapes we are selling continues to grow and will be even higher in the future.” As LTO tape is the most cost effective and best medium to hold data that is rarely accessed; it is ideal to use for Stutch Data’s customers’ requirements, allowing them to keep their hard drive and flash storage for data required to run online applications and that is accessed regularly.
There have been some reports of a so-called LTO tape “drought” in Australia but this is something Stutchbury vehemently disagrees with.
He said, “Sure LTO-8 has not been available for a few months now, but there have been alternatives like the Type M or M8 tape which has the same speed of LTO-7 (300MB/sec/700MB/sec) and ¾ of the capacity (9TB/22.5TB) for tape library users. Also all the other LTO tapes have been available from LTO-1 to LTO-7. The older LTO-1, LTO-2 and LTO-3 models have to be ordered in specially, as you would expect, but I wouldn’t call it a drought. Also we have been advised that FUJIFILMs LTO-8 tapes are going to hit the market very soon so that will complete the range of readily-available LTOs.” According to Stutchbury FUJIFILM is Stutch Data’s preferred LTO tape brand and with good reason. He continued, “We prefer FUJIFILM LTOs because FUJIFILM are a manufacturer, their cost is competitive, they are local, understand the Australian market and make an excellent LTO tape for all uses and applications.”
It’s widely recognised that the main benefits of using LTO tapes are lower costs and the fact that the tape is removable. They also have a high reliability factor. When considering cost, cost per terabyte of LTO tape storage is the lowest if you take into account factors including hardware, software, maintenance, user fees, cooling, heating, electricity and the general real-estate costs of computer room space.
So, with this in mind, when asked to predict the short, medium and long term future for LTO tape in Australia Richard Stutchbury concluded, “Obviously, in the short term there is no shortage of LTO tapes except LTO-8, however as I mentioned FUJIFILM’s LTO-8 will be here soon and alternatives do exist in Type M or M8 tapes. In the medium and long term we will have full supplies of all FUJIFILM LTO tapes right up to LTO-8 so LTO tape as a storage medium has a very long and solid future ahead of it in Australia.”