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Oracle reels off one exabyte in tape storage

Object storage a rival? Not even close. At least, not yet

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Oracle has been boasting about its dominance in tape, saying it has now shipped more than an exabyte's worth of media for StorageTek T10000C tape drives in the nine months after its release – a faster ramp than for any other StorageTek product.

Oracle also shipped more enterprise tape drives than any other vendor in the first half of 2011, according to an IDC report, which also declared:

  • Oracle shipped more tape libraries with 1,000+ slots than any other supplier.
  • Oracle has a 70 per cent market share for 1,000+ slot LTO libraries.

Tape is transferring its storage responsibilities from backup to archive and archive seems to be heading into the cloud.

There is a war brewing in cloud-land where object storage vendors say their disk-based storage products are best-suited to cloud scale and don't need tape. Tape library vendors like Oracle and SpectraLogic are saying that tape storage provides the lowest-cost per GB and safest long-term storage for cloud data.

Object storage people may say that's true, but that cloud storage service providers need disk arrays for online data. But online file plus block disk arrays plus offline tape is going to be more expensive than online object storage with no tape – which enjoys the same data protection and security as tape.

There isn't even a phony war yet, as object storage isn't being used seriously in mainstream cloud storage environments, with the notable exception of Amazon. When and if it does, then the tape-vs-object-storage question will erupt into prominence. ®

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