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Old 02-01-2011, 09:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default World's 1st exabyte storage system

Exabyte? 1,000 Petabytes, 1,000,000 Terabytes or 1 billion Gigabytes. 1 EB is a big number, but that’s not the most impressive thing about the new technology.

Oracle/Sun/StorageTek announces a new tape drive this morning, the StorageTek T10000C. StorageTek built their business on high-capacity tape drives and robotic tape silos for mainframe and large-scale data storage environments.

With a 5 TB native capacity and normal 2x compression, each cartridge can store 10 TB of data. Key to the capacity is the use of a new medium, Barium-Ferrite (BaFe) tape.

BaFe has a couple of big advantages over today’s metal particle tapes.

* Fujifilm has figured out how to mass produce BaFe particles that are 1/3rd the size of current metal particles. Smaller particles = higher density and higher coercivity.
* Unlike metal particles, BaFe doesn’t rust. Today’s metal particles used in tape typically have 2 layers of ceramic coating to protect against oxidation, an extra processing step BaFe - which is very stable - doesn’t need.

Of course, a new tape without a new tape head to take advantage of it is useless. New media and head development go hand in hand.

While Fujifilm did the heavy lifting on the media, StorageTek built a 32 track read/write head. The most impressive number? They spec an unrecoverable read error rate of 110-19 - 1,000 times better than enterprise disks.

Oh, and StorageTek’s largest silo has 100,000 slots. Do the math.

How long?
It can take a couple of minutes to access a file on a tape silo, so their primary use is for archive data that doesn’t need rapid access. So how long will archive data last on these new tapes?

Fujifilm did accelerated life testing for 30 days and claim the new tapes have a 30 year life span. YMMV.

256-bit AES encryption at wire speed is standard on the drive. With compression, the drive can write 360 MB/sec.

The Storage Bits take
This is an essential move for the tape folks. History tells us that when a more convenient medium’s capacity equals the incumbents, the old standby won’t be standing much longer. Even if it costs more.

Hard-shell 3.5″ floppies beat out 5.25″ and 8″ floppies. CDs and DVDs wiped out consumer tape drives and Zip drives. USB thumb drives and downloading are killing DVDs and Blu-ray.

With 3 TB drives coming to market, 5/10 TB tape cartridges keeps tape in the game. And BaFe has legs: last year Fujifilm demo’d its potential to grow to 70 TB compressed on a single LTO cartridge.

That gives the disk guys something to shoot for.

Bragging rights?

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Old 02-01-2011, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: World's 1st exabyte storage system

What would you do with an Exabyte? I can see in a server, but once that gets into desktops...

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: World's 1st exabyte storage system

100 GB every 5 minutes
1,200 GB every hour
28,800 GB every day
10,512,000 GB every year
1,000,000,000 GB total
means that it would last 95 years

So 20 GB/minute (341.333 MB/s) for almost a century (if my maths is correct, which it probably isn't).

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: World's 1st exabyte storage system

I thought tape drives went the way of the Commodore?
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: World's 1st exabyte storage system

Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
I thought tape drives went the way of the Commodore?
Nope Tape is a very stable storage medium for servers, I have one in a server in my lab at the moment.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: World's 1st exabyte storage system

^ditto, our offsite backups are on tape drives

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