Tape may be unfashionable, but it still has its place in the data centre, as evinced by Oracle's launch of a new StorageTek drive boasting an impressive 8.5TB native capacity along with a new tape file system that allows users to directly access files as if they were stored on disk.
Available now, Oracle's StorageTek T10000D is claimed by the firm as the world's fastest and highest capacity tape drive, boasting an uncompressed capacity of 8.5TB per cartridge and a sustained data rate of up to 252MBps.
According to Oracle, this equates to more than three times the data per cartridge and 57 percent faster throughput than the common Linear Tape-Open LTO-6 standard, delivering a lower total cost of ownership as it means fewer tape drives and cartridges are required to handle the same volume of data.
With support for both 16Gbps Fibre Channel and 10Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) host bus interfaces, the drive can also fit into modern converged data centre environments alongside disk and flash SSD storage arrays.
When deployed in the Oracle StorageTek SL8500 tape library system, the StorageTek T10000D enables customers to scale to more than 68 exabytes of capacity under a single point of management.
These capabilities are expected to broaden the appeal of tape storage in market sectors that deal with large file assets, Oracle said, including media and entertainment, oil and gas, healthcare imaging and cloud services.
Also available now, the StorageTek Linear Tape File System, Library Edition (LTFS-LE) makes tape storage as easy to use and manage as disk at a lower cost, according to Oracle, even down to allowing drag-and-drop transfer of files.
James Cates, vice president for hardware development at Oracle, said that the combination of the StorageTek T10000D drive and LTFS-LE software gave the firm a commanding lead in storage for long-term data retention and archiving.
"Oracle's StorageTek LTFS-LE software enables customers to more readily capitalise on the advantages of tape storage by making it as easy to use and manage as the familiar ‘drag-and-drop' paradigm in flash and disk storage," he said.
Because LTFS-LE enables data to be moved between tape and disk storage systems without specialised archive or backup management software, Oracle said it provides customers with a way to move away from expensive disk-only environments that typically cost about 26 times as much as the average cost of a tape-based solution.
LTFS-LE is designed to run on a server with Oracle Linux 5.5, but additionally supports client systems running Windows, or Red Hat or Suse Linux.
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