Oracle Debuts StorageTek LTO 6 drives
January 15, 2013 Alex Woodie
Oracle last week debuted new LTO 6 drives, as well as the capability to hook the new drives into StorageTek libraries via Fibre Channel.
Oracle sells four StorageTek LTO 6 tape drives, full-height and half-height drives with either SAS or Fibre Channel interfaces. The drives can be implemented as stand-alone devices, or installed in an autoloader or tape library configuration. The drives can be used with the full range of supported servers, including those running IBM i, mainframe, Unix, Linux and Windows operating systems.
LTO 6 drives offer a maximum data transfer rate of 160 MB/sec, up from 140 MB/sec with LTO5 gear. Total capacity with the LTO6 media has increased to 2.5 TB (native) or 6.25 TB with 2:5 to 1 compression. That compares with the LTO5 media, which offered 1.5 TB of native capacity, and 3 TB with 2 to 1 compression.
The new drives also support the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), a new feature introduced with LTO 5 that allows users to access data on tape cartridges as if it were a NAS-mounted disk drive. Oracle, like other vendors, offers LTFS software, called Oracle’s StorageTek Linear Tape File System, Open Edition.
Oracle also announced that its StorageTek LTO 6 drives are supported with Fibre Channel connections to the StorageTek SL8500 and SL3000 libraries. The SL8500 is Oracle’s biggest tape library, with up to 64 drives (LTO, T9840, or T10000), space for up to 100,000 slots, and a total capacity of 1 exabyte (with 2:1 compression). Up to 32 SL8500s can be linked together, providing a mind-boggling 33.8 EBs. The SL3000 is a midrange tape library that can be equipped with between one and 56 drives of various types, and scales from 200 to 6,000 slots, providing storage capacity up to 60 petabytes.
Oracle is the fourth storage vendor to roll out LTO 6 gear in recent months. Other vendors selling the drives include Quantum, Overland Storage, and IBM. Hewlett-Packard, which is a founding partner in the LTO Consortium along with Quantum and IBM, has LTO 6 gear listed on its website, but it hasn’t yet formally introduced them.