Hosted at




36th International Conference
on Massive Storage Systems
and Technology (MSST 2020)
May 4 — 8, 2020

Sponsored by Santa Clara University,
School of Engineering


Since the conference was founded, in 1974, by the leading national laboratories, MSST has been a venue for massive-scale storage system designers and implementers, storage architects, researchers, and vendors to share best practices and discuss building and securing the world's largest storage systems for high-performance computing, web-scale systems, and enterprises.




Hosted at

Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA


The Storage Landscape for Tape, HDD, and NAND—10 Year Comparisons and Trends for Manufactured Exabytes, Cost per Bit, and Areal Density

Dr. Robert E. Fontana, Jr. and Dr. Gary M. Decad, IBM


This presentation describes the storage landscape environment (bit shipments, revenue, cost per bit, areal density) for tape cartridges, HDD drives, and NAND flash chips. Three topics will be considered. First, storage landscape 10-year trends will be contrasted with landscape changes occurring between 2018 and 2019. Second, strategies for increasing areal density of the storage bits, i.e. technology roadmap goals, will be discussed since the three storage technologies have classically increased device or component capacity by increasing the number of bits per unit surface area on a tape, a disc, or silicon wafer storage media surface. Third, cost per bit ($/GB) trends will be compared for the three technologies and future projections on this metric will be made with the use of roadmap strategies.



Dr. Robert E. Fontana, Jr. is a Research Scientist with IBM Systems in the Head, Actuator, and Assembly Department for Enterprise and LTO tape applications. Dr. Fontana’s current assignment is the design/process of advanced tape head transducers and the evaluation of storage component trends for the Cloud. He has a 35+ year career with magnetic memories, the design and processing of the HDD industry’s first magneto-resistive and giant magneto-resistive thin film heads, and the transfer of thin film head processing technologies to manufacturing scales. Dr. Fontana has 61 publications and 137 issued patents in the areas of magnetic device structures, thin film head designs, and nano processing of magnetic transducers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, past president of the IEEE Magnetics Society, and a recipient of the IEEE Cledo Brunetti Technical Field Award for excellence in device miniaturization. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gary M. Decad is a Senior Manager at IBM's Systems Group, which is responsible for providing server, storage and software infrastructure for IBM's Cloud services as well as clients worldwide. Gary's team at IBM's Almaden Research Center develops storage technology and products to support the Cloud's archival storage requirements, with a focus on extending the tape storage product roadmaps to deliver the lowest total cost of ownership for Cloud infrastructures now and in the next ten years. Gary received his Ph.D. at Berkeley.


Page Updated March 20, 2020