A large DOD contractor had been working on a US Navy contract to store and maintain sonar data collected aboard submarines and written to nine-track data tapes.  One of the responsibilities of the contractor was to make specific data sets available on-line for analysts and researchers upon request for processing.  

The nine-track data tape reels were not the most convenient things to work with.  They were:

bulletRequired environmentally controlled environment
bulletLarge
bulletHeavy
bulletSlow to process
bulletStored less data compared to CDs, magneto- optical disks and hard drives
bulletEasily damaged and error prone
bulletWere not immediately available on-line for processing

The volume of data tapes was overwhelming.  The storage space required was enormous.  In fact, the aisles and aisles of data tapes essentially occupied the space of a football field.  The costs related to maintain a large environmentally controlled facility, the volume of data tapes and personnel were  equally enormous.

The contractor came to DSAT for help.  Using our normal methodical approach to developing solutions, we were able to offer the contractor a series of solutions, each would compact their football sized data storage facility into a closet, make the data more immediately available for processing, require fewer personnel to maintain and save the contractor a large amount of money.  Of course, the Navy would benefit, also, with improved service, increased data reliability, faster on-line data processing and significant cost savings.

Each of the solutions provided had the same basic infrastructure ... a series of workstations that could convert the data stored on nine-track tape to another type of media.  Custom software was developed to read the original data, re-format it in a manner more consistent with contemporary data processing standards, write the data onto a smaller, higher density, faster media and to catalog all the information for easier and faster retrieval.

In only sixty days, we had their facility on a data volume diet.  The contractor became leaner, faster and more effective.

Aisles and aisles of nine-track tapes were converted to  high-speed, higher density media that could fit in your shirt pocket.  Compacting a football field of tape into a small closet space.