This is probably the cheapest way to store 1000TB of data online safely and securely — tape behemoth rents 18TB LTO-9 tapes and undercuts Wasabi and BackBlaze cloud storage by 75%

tape storage
(Image credit: Shutterstock / kubais)

Fujifilm recently announced it would be hiking the prices of its various tape products, blaming the surprising move on escalating raw material costs. 

The company insisted at the time that “data tape continues to be the most cost-effective and energy-efficient storage solution available,” but that’s clearly not quite as true as it once was with increases of 15% for its Ultrium 9 Data Cartridges and a whopping 40% for older generation products.

Data storage and management firm Spectra Logic, in partnership with cloud archive provider Geyser Data, have launched a new tape-as-service (TaaS) cloud offering which combines the benefits of traditional tape storage, such as high durability and low cost, with the convenience and flexibility of cloud services.

Better performance and lower cost

Tape Archive Platform As-a-Service (TAPAS) utilizes the Spectra Cube cloud-optimized tape library, Spectra Certified LTO-9 media and Spectra BlackPearl S3- compatible object storage to create an object-based tape infrastructure that is compatible with any Amazon S3 or S3 Glacier application.

The two firms describe TAPAS as the “first true tape-as-a-service offering in the cloud.” While tape-as-a-service is far from a new concept, it had a very different meaning in the past. 

A spokesperson for Spectra Logic explained, “For example, FujiFilm offered on-prem server software that provided an S3 interface to tape. They did not provide the server or the tape library. The customer had to provide these and do their own integration, as well as buy the tapes from FujiFilm. This was not a consumption-based service in the cloud as we think of it today.” 

The TAPAS platform aims to offer quick and free data retrieval, ranging from seconds to minutes, along with the ability to copy all data to major clouds for broad application. Data security is achieved through the use of dedicated tapes and data segregation to minimize cyber threats and unauthorized access. TAPAS also offers data residency, with user-determined physical locations to prevent unforeseen issues related to public cloud storage.  

“With the ever-rising volume of backup and archive data being stored in the cloud, there is a clear need for greater security, better performance and lower cost,” said Nathan Thompson, chief executive officer, Spectra Logic. “Our partnership with Geyser Data is leading the way in delivering the traditional benefits of tape in a modern, easy-to-consume service that is more cost-effective than typical cold storage services in the cloud.” 

Pricing for TAPAS will be on a per-tape basis, costing around $27 per month for each 18-terabyte LTO-9 tape cartridge used, or approximately $1.50/TB. That’s significantly cheaper than the likes of Backblaze ($6/TB a month) and Wasabi ($6.99/TB a month). TAPAS will be available from June 1, along with a 30-day limited capacity trial. Find out more here.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.