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Oracle Unveils 5TB Tape Drive

The StorageTek T10000C is built for the SL8500 Modular Library System, which can be expanded to 1 exabyte of storage for archiving and backup.

Oracle has launched its fastest and highest capacity tape drive to date for corporations struggling with an ever-increasing need for storage.

The StorageTek T10000C tape drive, introduced Monday, has an uncompressed data capacity of 5TB, which is five times its predecessor, the T10000B, and more than three times the storage of Oracle's previous highest capacity drive, the StorageTek LTO-5. The latter drive has a capacity of 1.5TB, and is aimed mostly at midrange tape environments.

Oracle is also claiming that the T10000C has a throughput of 240MB per second, making it 50% to 70% faster than its predecessors, as well as similar products from competitors. The T10000 products and the LTO-5 all fit in Oracle's StorageTek SL8500 Modular Library System, which is built for backup and archiving for mainframes and open-systems servers.

SL8500 systems can be linked in clusters of 10 and managed as a single library with 100,000 slots. Using the T10000C, a company could reach a capacity level of 500 petabytes of uncompressed data, or double the capacity to 1 exabyte through data compression. Oracle claims the combination of the SL8500 library and the T10000C makes for the industry's first exabyte-capacity tape system.

Oracle is significantly boosting the capacity of its hardware, acquired about a year ago with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, as companies find themselves in need of higher capacity storage. A 2010 survey of enterprise IT professionals by InformationWeek found nearly half with insufficient resources for critical applications.

Driving the need for more storage is the pressure to meet stringent regulatory and data management requirements. In addition, companies are storing more digital images, high-definition video, audio files, and virtual disks. In 2009, 75% of business technology professionals surveyed by InformationWeek reported administering more than 1 TB of data, while 24% managed more than 100 TB. A year later, the percentages jumped to 87% and 29%, respectively.

Oracle says the SL8500 system can be integrated with the company's related software, such as the 11g Recovery Manager, the Oracle Secure Backup, and the Sun Storage Archive Manager. In addition, the system can be integrated with the company's Exadata Database Machine, Sun Sparc Enterprise Servers, and Sun Fire x86 clustered systems.

Oracle did not disclose pricing for the T10000 tape drives.


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