Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Oracle Boosts Tape to Exabyte (Per Library) Level

While the Tape is Dead Marching Band and Chowder Society was still celebrating Imation's plant closure, Oracle decided to rain on their parade by announcing a new version of its T10000 enterprise tape system with a native capacity of 5TBytes per cartridge. Since its largest SL8500 library can be built with 100,000 slots, and 640 drives, Oracle is claiming to have built the first exabyte storage system, with compression.

While tape is fading as a direct backup medium, there are still plenty of customers that find tape systems' low cost per petabyte, high density of storage on the data center floor and low cost of long-time retention attractive. Organizations are now storing more data--such as medical and check images that don't dedupe well--for many years in their archive systems.

Tape is also still a major part of many high-performance computing applications, such as particle accelerators that can generate petabytes of data in a matter of minutes and then take weeks or months to analyze it.

The new T10000C re-establishes the capacity and performance gap between the high duty cycle enterprise drives made by StorageTek/Sun/Oracle and IBM and the more mainstream Linear Tape-Open (LTO) drives that mere mortals doing disk to disk to tape backup use. This gap had been closing as both classes hit the 1TByte mark.

The T10000C drives use a Fujifilm-developed barium ferrite (BaFe) medium with particles significantly smaller than those of LTO or other current technologies. Since Fujifilm and IBM announced last year that they were jointly developing a demonstration project that will store 35TBytes on a single BaFe tape, I expect IBM will be announcing an enterprise tape drive in the 4TByte to 5TByte range in the next few months.  

  • 1