Sony’s 185TB Data Tape Could Solve Video Surveillance Storage Cost Challenges


At the recent International Magnetics Conference (Intermag) in Europe, the company is presenting a method of data storage utilizing magnetic tape which is capable of holding a whopping 148GB per inch.

Back in 2012, a collaboration between FujiFilm and IBM IBM resulted in prototype cassettes which could hold 35TB of data, and at the time that was considered a monumental accomplishment. Sony’s new method means you could cram 185TB onto a single cassette tape. The average Blu-Ray disc holds 50GB and a standard PC hard drive 1TB.

To illustrate just how dramatic this is, here’s a weeks-old tutorial at ExtremeTech detailing how to build your own 180TB hard drive storage array for a measly $9305. ( hard disk storage array cost analysis link )

Magnetic tape is still a viable option for mass data storage and backup, and Sony wants to commercialize their product and bring it to market in the near future.

Interestingly, the Tape Storage Council claimed that tape storage shipments grew 13% in 2012, and were projected to grow to 26% in 2013.

So in an age of cloud storage and plummeting hard drive costs, why would cassette tape still be relevant? A 2012 report at NewScientist explains that traditional hard drive data centers use 200 times more energy than a tape storage array of the same size. And with video surveillance data producing 413-petabytes per day this kind of affordable storage would be very welcome.


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