The rising request for the Cloud is bringing an end to the era of so called Tape silo (also known as Tape robot or Tape Jukebox) though not all of a sudden, but gradually. The Tapes are basically the major source for Mainframe storage medium. Whenever the Mainframe word is used, people do think of the IBM Mainframe, which is actually true. The Mainframe are IBM zSeries machines in usage. Now coming back to the topic, the tapes are still used by Large Industries or Huge companies. The normal example to this is, a Drug/Pharmaceutical Industry. A drug industry have to maintain large amount of data backup of its medicines. It depends upon the drug type, its regulations, etc. for a period of 15, 65, 100 years. None can think keeping these many data for such a long period. Then, we relied over the Tapes. The tapes have really become Old along with the Mainframes. And what’s the drawback in it ? When we write down the data into tapes, there are chances that the Data loss occurs frequently. As the tapes grow Old, the physical damage will occur with the tape being broken.
Later came an era of “Disks” over tapes. You can think, then why didn’t the tapes vanish even with the up-rise of Disks ? The answer was simple. In the Mainframe, the tape’s data were virtualized on to the Disks. This was actually a price consuming task. People never demanded for a high price tag storage devices. In the disks, the entire data wasn’t stored. People stored only the data which were important to them and the data which were active in use. Basically, not everything was virtualized when it came for the disks.
Now comes into action, The Cloud. The value proportion of this is, its cost saving. And this is something awesome because that’s what the people want. They will have their Mainframe and will also be able to store their data into cloud without undergoing any changes to the infrastructure. They will have to just choice the right option for the storage. But the people who rely over the disks, can have open option to extend their way to the cloud storage as it allows the client to write their data and to maintain their data backup on the Cloud environment itself.
The majority of companies using mainframe are in no hurry of switching their data from the Tapes to the cloud. Eventually, a date shall come where the Tapes be replaced by the Clouds. Large companies, being the fact, will take several long years to eliminate their tape robot as there will be bulk of data to be written down. The entire data shall be of several years old. And writing them to a new generation storage device is no kids play. In order to replicate the data, would undertake multiple/several cycles of processing. They can’t be implemented within few months of time. It would certainly take long term process of cycles to get the task completed. And guess what ? the tapes shall be vanished by the Cloud with the advantage of letting have more floor space and eliminating another mechanical thing.
*** Don’t be in the World of dreams as there is still whole lot of time to say BYE to the TAPE ROBOT 😛