Fujifilm’s recently-announced offering allows objects and their metadata to be archived on tape, and the pricing model, which is being announced today, includes the media with the software subscription.
A month ago, Fujifilm announced their Fujifilm Object Archive solution which uses their new OTFormat file format to transfer objects and their metadata from disks to tape, effectively allowing object data to be archived on tape. At that time, they did not announce how it would be priced. Today, they are doing precisely that, with what they are terming a unique pricing subscription model.
“Our Object Archive Solution is a software based- S3-compatible gateway which operates like Glacier in your data centre,” said Chris Kehoe, Vice President of Technical Sales at Fujifilm. Storing object data on tape drives is much cheaper than storing it on drives, SSDs or even the public cloud – and without egress fees. The air-gapped nature of tape also improves security and is effective ransomware protection.
“For tape to be well optimized for object storage, it needs to support it in native capacity,” Kehoe said. “OTFormat does this and optimizes performance by packing objects.”
While Fujifilm may be identified most with film for cameras – once a booming business – they are a broad media supplier, and have also been making data tape since 1965. Their Object Archive Solution supports the current LTO-8 generation, as well as LTO-7.
“Our software solution is not object storage, but a complement to it,” said Kim Stevens, Channel Manager at Fujifilm. The solution is fully vendor-agnostic.
“We help customers optimize the object storage that they have already invested in, and will be able to use more wisely with this,” she added. “With 89% of the 6 zettabytes of data forecast to exist by 2025 being colder and archivable, this becomes an option in a hybrid storage use case.”
Tape these days is generally sold to customers who want to use it to store large amounts of data – at least 1 PB or more.
Fujifilm sells direct to VAR channel partners in North America, who are typically solution providers with a consultative role. There’s no distribution yet in North America. That’s different from EMEA, which does use a two-tier distribution model.
“In EMEA, they also call it Software Defined Tape, while we call it Object Archive,” Stevens pointed out.
What’s unique about the pricing model for Object Archive is its being the first hardware-independent object storage solution that includes the media with the software subscription.
“The subscription includes the software and upgrades, same business day support, and 2x tape media licensing capacity, for both a primary and a secondary copy,” Stevens said. “The pricing model is also based on the term of subscription and the amount of storage. It makes it very easy for the client.”
Fujifilm is also offering a promo through to the end of this year, albeit one which breaks up the unity of the software and media
“We are offering up to 500 TB of Object Archive software for free, with the customer bringing their own media,” Stevens indicated. “The idea is to let them test it out.”