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Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?

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Luke Arndt
Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Feb 23, 2017 at 10:03:25 pm

I'm brand-new to the LTO scene (getting ready to purchase my first tape drive), and I'm debating between LTO-6 and LTO-7. 7 appeals to me mainly because of the 6 TB uncompressed capacity compared to 6's 2.5 TB.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards LTO-6 at the moment mainly because the price per TB is much less. Seems an LTO-6 tape is approximately $10/TB, whereas LTO-7 is closer to $20/TB.

So I'm wondering if the price of LTO-7 tapes is expected to drop significantly any time soon. For instance, in six months or a year, would the price of LTO-7 tapes be much different? Are they likely to approach the LTO-6 prices anytime soon?

Any input would be appreciated, as anybody's experience would surely trump mine. :-)


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Feb 24, 2017 at 3:46:21 am

This has been the pattern for years now. From the 3 to 4 and 4 to 5, and 5 to 6 transition period. When the product is new it commands a premium price. Over time it reduces but so does the lower capacity tape. And eventually the per TB cost of both get near the same.

So, go and get the LTO-7 if the ability to hold 6 TB on a tape is of any use to you. Else, 2.5 TB per tape is fine.

Interestingly, and this has a bearing on per TB costs, LTO generations have always doubled capacities. Except LTO-6 which came in at 2.5 TB over 1.5 TB of LTO-5.

I think the 'sweet spot' for buying an LTO-7 drive will be the second half of this year when prices will level out.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Tim Jones
Re: Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Feb 24, 2017 at 5:54:42 am

Neil is mostly correct, but we didn't see a drop for LTO-6 when LTO-7 shipped like we did with LTO-5 when LTO-6 shipped. This round, the LTO-6 prices stayed where they were and LTO-7 came in higher. Part of the cause is that most of the vendors still believe that 2.5TB is still a sweet spot for the larger number of tape users and the market is proving them correct. Yes, you can write to LTO-6 tapes in an LTO-7 drive and a lot of our customers do just that. They buy the LTO-7 drive because they have the budget, but then use LTO-6 media for the near term since you can buy 4 LTO-6 tapes (10TB) at ~$30 ea for the price of one LTO-7 tape (6TB) ~$120 ea.

However, unless LTO-7 adoption picks up, we don't expect the drive or media pricing to start seeing a downward trend until we get closer to LTO-8's launch. It's back to a Catch-22 - the drive and media prices won't come down until volumes increase, but customers are having problems buying because the prices are high.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.tolisgroup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Feb 24, 2017 at 6:08:45 am

Strangely enough, in India the price differential is not as much.
An LTO-6 tape is now Rs 2,700. While an LTO-7 tape is Rs 8,200.
Since I use Bru which writes 2.2 TB to LTO-6 and (may) write 5.3 TB to a LTO-7 tape, here in India, its Rs 1227 per TB for LTO-6 vs Rs 1,547 per TB for LTO-7.
LTO-5 at the moment is Rs 1,380 per TB, so its actually costlier than LTO-6.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Ju Dor
Re: Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Oct 28, 2017 at 7:46:36 am

Price for LT0-7 tapes has come down from $128 to $88 in the last 9 months (with a steep momentary rise in August before going down further).
Do you think we can expect substantial price drops over the next couple of weeks/months?

Now that LTO-8 is coming in LTO-7 seems to become more affordable an option (with better future proofing too I guess)

I also read incidentally on this interesting link ( https://www.millgate.co.uk/IT/img/news/lto.pdf )
that the buffer size of LTO-7 drives seems to be the same, whether they are Full Height (FH) or Half Height (HH).

This is a big plus, as LTO6 drives have a smaller buffer on Half Height drives. (LTO7 drives buffer appears to be the same as Full Height LTO-6 drives).
This is particularly interesting for our industry, where we often end up writing a lot of small files, from dpx image sequences to cache files.

LTO-7 is also all the more interesting now that Asus have released Aquantia 10Gigagbit network cards (and 5gigabit ones I think too) for 100 bucks, so fast networks + fast backups for small production companies are finally becoming affordable


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Martin Greenwood
Re: Will LTO-7 tapes drop in price any time soon?
on Nov 2, 2017 at 9:47:34 am

The cost of LTO-7 media (~5.7TB) is getting closer to the price per TB of LTO-6 and this drops a little from month to month.

There is also the recent (slightly confusing) announcement that you can store 50% more (~8.5TB) onto an LTO-7 tape when specially formatting it as M8 media in an LTO-8 drive. This makes the cost per TB cheaper than LTO-6. Note that this tape is then not readable in an LTO-7 drive...
Prior to this news there were not any compelling reasons to upgrade from an LTO-7 drive, as the LTO-8 media (~11.4TB) isn't available yet and the price will probably be high. Also the LTO-8 drive unfortunately does not read LTO-6 media.

With LTFS and our YoYottaID software we are able to keep all generations of LTO drives running at full rate with DPX, ARI, EXR image sequences. So we don't need files to be larger then 1GB as mentioned in that Fuji report linked to by Ju Dor.
However the large buffer size makes sense and may well speed up the transfer of random sizes smaller files (< a few MB)

Martin Greenwood

CTO

YoYotta


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