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Oracle launches 5 TB StorageTek tape drive

Oracle wants to prove it will continue to innovate the tape platform it acquired from Sun; launches StorageTek 10000C tape drive with 5 TB native capacity and 240MBps uncompressed data rate.

Oracle Corp. today introduced its first tape drive since acquiring Sun Microsystems, the enterprise-level StorageTek T10000C that can scale to 5 TB of native uncompressed capacity with a maximum of 240 MBps uncompressed throughput for data backup and archiving. It also has a maximum, compressed transfer rate of 360 MBps.

The previous largest StorageTek tape drive, the T10000B, holds 1 TB native with transfer rates of 120 MBps uncompressed and 360 MBps compressed.

Since it acquired Sun last year, Oracle has moved to convince customers it is serious about developing its enterprise tape platform. Sun customers had complained about a lack of commitment on Sun's part after it acquired leading tape vendor StorageTek in 2005.

Oracle made capacity upgrades to its SL8500 Modular Library System and Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) mainframe virtual tape library (VTL) last year before today's tape drive enhancement.

"The story here is Oracle is continuing to innovate and enhance the technology," said Robert Amatruda, research director for data recovery at IDC. "Oracle is demonstrating its commitment to tape with the T10000C tape drive. It has massive capacity and massive performance. Five terabytes is a lot of capacity in one tape cartridge."

The T10000C offers mainframe FICON and Fibre Channel open-systems connectivity, and users can transition between the two environments. It is compatible with StorageTek SL8500 and the StorageTek SL3000 libraries. One library can handle 100,000 cartridges and up to 640 tape drives. Oracle said the larger drives enable its libraries to scale to 1 exabyte of data with 2:1 compression.

Customers can choose data encryption and WORM technology for security and compliance. The StorageTek T10000C has built-in encryption that works with the Oracle Key Manager appliance that also manages keys for the previous generation StorageTek T10000A and StorageTek T10000B tape drives, StorageTek LTO-5 cartridges and the StorageTek T9840D tape drive.

Tom Wultich, director of product management for tape at Oracle, said the T10000C lets customers back up and archive data with smaller libraries and fewer drives, giving them less media to manage.

The T10000C works with Oracle's Sun Storage Active Manager (SAM) software for open-system archives. SAM lets customers set policy-based management of data across disk and tape tiers. For open-systems backup, it works with Oracle Secure Backup software and other backup software applications.

Mainframe customers can use the T10000C with Oracle's StorageTek VSM to move data across Fibre Channel and SAS disk and tape.

"Backup vendors use tiered storage and we qualified our drive to work with them," Wultich said. "They can implement the new technology such as a new tape drive and get the benefit of not modifying the application."


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