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Tape's NOT dead. WHOMP: This 8.5TB Oracle drive proves it

World's 'fastest, highest capacity' piece of tape kit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Oracle has introduced the world's highest capacity tape drive, all raw 8.5TB of it, and the fastest too.

The StorageTek T10000D transfers uncompressed data at 252MB/sec and 756MB/sec with 3:1 compression running. Its 252MB/sec data rate is 57.5 per cent faster than LTO-6's 160MB/sec, and LTO-6 only stores 2.5TB raw, less than half the T10000D's capacity.

The T10000D cartridge, which uses the same media as the previous T10000C format, stores 54 per cent more data than the T10000C. That means you can transfer your data from T10000C media to the "D" media and free up great big chunks of tape cartridge capacity.

A Streamline SL8500 library can hold more than 68 exabytes of data using the "D" cartridge, surely the cheapest and densest archival storage facility ever.

It might even be able to store all the hacks' notebooks used in El Reg's worldwide offices.

Oracle T10000D tape drive

Oracle T10000D tape drive.

A Clipper Group senior analyst, David Reine, said: "According to Oracle's calculations, a 1 PB T10000D solution can cost about 20 per cent less and can consume about 20 per cent less floor space than with LTO-6 in Oracle's StorageTek SL3000 Library."

Oracle adds: "Customers can drag-and-drop multiple LTO LTFS-enabled volumes onto a single StorageTek T10000D cartridge for large data consolidation projects."

The new "D" format is, Oracle claims, "19 per cent faster than the IBM TS1140, while storing more than twice the data per cartridge".

It also says its T10000D is the first tape drive that supports both 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel and 10Gbit/s Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) so, when data centres do converge on Ethernet, it will be ready to rock and roll.

A Data Integrity Validation (DIV) feature as tape cartridge validity can be checked without going back to the application that wrote the data. The T10000D drive is is backward-read compatible with all three previous generation T10000 tapes.

Redwood Shores has also added to its LTFS offering with the LTFS library edition (LTFS LE). It supports LTFS indexing and file drag-and-drop tape to/from disk functionality and features:

  • digital media distribution to support file-based workflow and broadcast production and play-out operations,
  • storage and archive of 2K, 4K, and 8K (IMAX) digital formats, and
  • on-set capture and backup of video footage from digital cameras

Oracle says it provides "a simple, low cost, open format interface for sharing data on tape between users and between applications" and enables users to find files in the host tape library "by eliminating the need to re-mount tape cartridges to retrieve index data or cartridge information such as volume information, file type, file size and creation date".

Tom Coughlin, founder and president of storage consultants Coughlin Associates said: "LTFS implemented at the library level is a significant step forward for the LTFS industry initiative and we expect it will dramatically increase the use cases for LTFS and open up new opportunities for tape storage. In particular, I expect the media and entertainment industry, already an early adopter of LTFS at the drive level, to quickly embrace LTFS implemented at the tape library level."

Hey, tape is not dead. In fact it's creeping steadily back into favour as big data spreads.

Both new products can be seen at the IBC2013 conference in Amsterdam in the Oracle exhibit, Hall 9, Exhibit 9, D15. No word on pricing and availability. ®

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