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No.03 Store enormous amounts of data securely and at a reasonable price! Tape storage

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Our Science Reporters with the Inside Scoop INNOVATION REPORT A great way to store vast amounts of data!Tape storage- The most reliable solution for data storage.

  • Meet Our Reporters
  • Our Technology
  • Examples and Outlook

Meet Our Reporters

  • PHOTO:YUKO WATANABE

    YUKO WATANABE

    PROFILE

Our Technology

Our student reporter Yuko Watanabe has interviewed members from FUJIFILM Recording Media Division,
Noriko Imaoka, Mikako Ban and Nami Matsumoto to learn more about the latest development and future technology,
which supports the rapid spread and penetration of information-society.

PHOTO:Mikako Ban
 Recording Media Products Div.Fujifilm Corporation, Nami Matsumoto Recording Media Products Div.
 Archive Business Group Fujifilm Corporation,Imaoka Recording Media Research & Research & Development Center Fujifilm Corporation

[Tape Storage]Watanabe : More and more data being created every day,
I heard that demand for tape storage is being fueled by this unrelenting data growth.
Can you give an explanation what kind of tape we are talking about?

Imaoka : Yes, let me show you an example. When you take pictures or videos with your smart phone, don’t you save them somewhere else for backup or to free up space on your phone?

Watanabe : I see. When I was in my first degree, my major was robotics, I used hard disks and cloud services to backup my reaserch data.

Imaoka : Companies also take it important to store data, which ables them to develop new technologies and face new business opportunities.

Tape storage has established its role for effectively managing extreme data growth and has a big advantage in data reliability. LTO (Linear Tape Open) system is now positioned to address many data intensive industries. This is the latest product , LTO-7 cartridge.

PHOTO:LTO7 cartridge, the seventh generation and latest version

Click to view a special, video
that offers a comprehensive overview of the Tape storage product.

Watanabe : What is it like inside?

Imaoka : This cartridge contains magnetic tape inside. Here is a sample. LTO-7 cartridge has 960 meter tape with 6.0 TB native capacity. This tape achieves a high level data reliability. In addition, tape has longer life compared to disk. The life expectancy of disk is only three to five years, where tape can secure data for over thirty years.
Cost of energy can be saved by using tape. Disk for archiving uses much more power and generate much more heat while it spins, in contrast, tape needs less electricity for storage.
LTO cartridge capacity has doubled every few years, and our latest research shows that it is technically possible to write 220 TB data on a single cartridge.

Watanabe : You mean that capacity continues to grow in this same cartridge size?

Imaoka : Yes, correct. Magnetic tape has a layer coated with micron-order magnetic particles. By magnetizing those particles, we write signals. It was necessary to reduce the size of those magnetic particles and form a nano-order thin magnetic layer for increasing cartridge capacity.

Watanabe : Do you mean that the important technology here is to put as much particles on the layer of the tape?

Imaoka : You are right. Fujifilm newly developed a hexagonal Barium-Ferrite (BaFe) particle, and the nano-particle technology able to reduce the particle size in a few tens of nanometers. Other unique nano-dispersion and thin coating technology are used to ensure uniform dispersion of the BaFe particle.

Watanabe : Nano-dispersion and thin coating technology? What kind of technology is it?

Imaoka : For example, it is like spreading 1 liter of water over an area the size of four football fields.

Watanabe : I see! So it is like putting little particles of water side by side.

Imaoka : That’s exactly right.


Illust:Barium Ferrite

Imaoka : For many decades, Fujifilm was a leader company in the development of photography film. Thanks to the environment for research and the human resource that lead us to develop the technology of Nano-particulation and Nano-dispersion technology which why LTO tapes were born and continues to enhance.

Watanabe : This is how you have keep developing new technologies and why Fujifilm LTO tape is leading the world.

About Fujifilm's Core Technologies

Watanabe : Now I understand how LTO allows storing large amounts of data safe and with low cost. What kind of data is tape storage i used for?

Ban : There are two types of data. What is called “Hot Data” is data that needs to be accessed frequently. It is typically business-critical information that needs to be accessed quickly and is often used by companies for quick decision-making. Conversely, “Cold data” is data that is accessed less frequently by an organization. Cold data is usually stored on lower power and less expensive storage environments in-house.

For examples, in broadcast industry, every day news and movies are converted and stored as 4K digital data. For developing facial recognition platforms and other security systems, we store images from surveillance cameras. Data from genome analyses, space observation and weather satellites are also stored in tape. People are now trying to use those massive data for analysis, utilization for future development. Raw video footage from disasters and communication data from those days are analyzed, used to prevent future disaster or give hints for countermeasures. Automated driving technology is also being developed by enormous data of weather and maps. Companies are investing in Artificial Intelligence and LTO tapes are now used in many different fields.

Illust:“hot” data/“cold” data

Watanabe : Wow, so LTO tapes are used in many field!

How are LTO tapes used? Do companies need to hire specialist for technical operation?

Matsumoto : No, in fact it is designed to be easy to use for everyone. Not only developing the LTO tapes itself but also we decided to introduce a new solution to respond to customer needs even more.

It is called “dternity”, an onsite archive solution that I would like to talk about it later.
We have the actual machine for demonstration, so let’s take a quick tour together.

Watanabe : That would be great!

Exsamples and Outlook

Examples, and the future of the “dternity” Onsite Archive

Watanabe : So this is “dternity”!

Matsumoto : Yes. It contains a tape library that reads and writes LTO tapes, and a server that is directly connected. Data is first stored to the server, which has a important software that can automatically send data with no access for a year as an example, to the tape library.

Watanabe : So it can automatically place the “Cold Data” you mentioned earlier, to LTO tapes. How convenient! You also mentioned that “dternity” is easy to use, but how do you operate you want to actually read and write data on your PC?

Matsumoto : This product uses a technology called LTFS (Linear Tape File System) , which provides the same usability as hard drives that you use every day. By looking at the thumbnail images, you can also know whether the data is stored in the hard disk or in LTO tapes.

Click to view a special, video
that offers a comprehensive overview of the Tape storage product.

PHOTO:『dternity』

PHOTO:『dternity』

PHOTO:『dternity』Operating

Watanabe : Wow, so it’s really just clicking a mouse on the PC!
Even I have no problem using it. May I ask case studies, where and who are using dternity today?

Matsumoto : A user case in a hospital may be interesting.

Watanabe : A hospital? I’m surprised it’s used in such a familiar setting! In a hospital? That is a surprising fact!

Matsumoto : Fujifilm have been having a close relationship with in the healthcare field, which is one of the segments where data capacity is growing significantly and demands for data storage are increasing. Recently, we’ve been seeing many more cases where hospitals are storing surgical procedures on video. This generates a huge amount of data, which is not only important for legal and academic purposes, but also represents critical personal information that requires proper handling.

“dternity” enables hospitals to store their data on-site for years , which not only offers greater security—since the data are managed inside the hospital—but also significantly reduces the cost of equipment and electricity compared to hard disks. In fact, this solution has even won the Energy Conservation Grand Prize.

Watanabe : Besides the medical field, what other segment does have deployment for this system?

Matsumoto : Well, one of the companies showing interest is from the automotive industry, where they develop automatic driving technology, Artificial intelligence technology, and generates vast amount of digital Also in the security industry, where they develop high-resolution cameras and future facial authentication technology, store a huge video data.

illust:Medical

illust:Drive

illust:Airport

Watanabe : In the new future, tape storage should be more and more attractive among many industries where they are trying to generate new value using big data and developing Artificial intelligence technology.

Matsumoto : Thank you very much. By leveraging its imaging and information technology, Fujifilm already has built relationships with many companies from many industries, and we hope “dternity” will be a new reliable solution for them.

Watanabe : Thank you for your time today!

After the Interview

Yuko Watanabe

This interview gave me another opportunity to knowmore about Fujifilm’s technology, and I’m more excited about and interested in the future than ever.

Having a chance to talk with women working on the front lines of technology, I really understood how they have an almost maternal affection for the technology they’re developing, so for me, this interview was a lot of fun. Thank you again!

Click to view a special, video
that offers a comprehensive overview of the Tape storage product.

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YUKO WATANABE Age22 Scientific Specialty: Robotics

Hobbies include anime, manga, movies, watching TV, visiting sacred spots and karaoke. Has experience in several sports, including volleyball, tennis, basketball and distance running. A real jack-of-all-trades, she's involved in both sports and the humanities. "I'm so glad that what I've learned in science and engineering will be useful to me as a reporter! I'll be giving it my best!"

photo:YUKO WATANABE

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