The backup routine at the office is pretty simple: insert tape, invoke command, walk away. Each tape holds 800 GB 1.6 TB with nominal 2:1 compression so we’re not worried about running out of space just yet. Then again, I was here when we were lucky to have 100-megabyte tapes. (For my personal use, I had one of those ancient Colorado drives that hooked up to the floppy controller and used QIC-40 tapes.)
And of course, eventually we will run out of space, and we’ll have to look into something bigger:
Researchers at Fuji Film in Japan and IBM in Zurich, Switzerland, have already built prototypes that can store 35 terabytes of data or about 35 million books’ worth of information on a cartridge that measures just 10 centimetres by 10 cm by 2 cm. This is achieved using magnetic tape coated in particles of barium ferrite.
This cartridge is almost exactly the same physical size as the ones we’re using; it just happens to hold 40 times as much data.