Fujifilm has an answer for all those lost backup tapes: GPS tracking.
The imaging and media giant is beta testing a tape-sized device that can help companies pinpoint their backup tapes to within meters.
"The genesis of this product was we were watching the news reports just like everybody else in this industry," said Rich Gadomski, vice president of marketing for Fujifilm. "So we wondered why there wouldn't be a tracking device to help keep track of these assets. And that's what we eventually developed, and are testing right now in the Tape Tracker."
Fujifilm, which manufactures magnetic tape media for data center and professional broadcast markets, has partnered with defense and security technology company QinetiQ to create the equivalent of a "LoJack" stolen vehicle recovery system for backup tapes.
The resulting device is a military-grade GPS system, 1,000 times more sensitive than a conventional GPS receiver, housed in a standard half-inch Linear Tape Open (LTO) data tape cartridge. It can help storage managers monitor the shipment of cases of tapes to offsite storage, and instantly locate them if they are lost or stolen. Losing a set of backup tapes can ruin your whole day. Just ask anyone at Bank of America or Ameritrade. In both instances, tapes containing hundreds of thousands of personal records were evidently lost en route to or from their backup storage sites.
"The latest generation of [LTO] has encryption in the drives," Gadomski said. "But this is an additional way to mitigate the risk."
The demands of tracking a case of tapes require a great deal more than just your average consumer-grade GPS system, spokespeople said.
The Tape Tracker "uses a lot of the military technology that you wouldn't find in a consumer [GPS] device," said Dan Greenberg, new product planning manager for Fujifilm. QinetiQ is "creating a version of their device enhanced for this particular application to be the most sensitive device possible."
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Source: Enterprise Storage Forum
By: Sean Gallagher