Eye on Oracle

Jan 31 2011   5:43PM GMT

Oracle with new 5 terabyte StorageTek tape drive

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Oracle StorageTek T10000C tape drive (photo courtesy of Oracle)

Oracle’s “big” storage announcement today is a new StorageTek 5 terabyte (TB) tape drive called the T10000C.

The T10000C is five times the size as its predecessor, the T10000B. Its throughput is 240MB/second, and Fujifilm Recording Media will manufacture the data cartridge. From the webcast today, it seems engineered to work best with Oracle’s own Exadata server and the IBM mainframe.

So what does that mean? For Oracle shops, it means that Oracle will continue to push its integrated stack to customers. That can either mean you’ve got one throat to choke (a potentially good thing) or vendor lock-in (a bad thing). This much is true: Oracle is trying to spread its tentacles throughout the data center.

Oracle rolled out CERN, the Geneva-based particle physics laboratory, as one of the first customers of the T10000C. Robert Amatruda, a storage analyst at IDC, also spoke during the Oracle-hosted webcast, giving his opinion that tape is still a viable storage option and that the T10000C indicates Oracle’s commitment to StorageTek and tape storage. He also mentioned a StorageTek tape storage roadmap that Oracle rolled out last year, indicating a product with up to 20TB capacity by 2015.

SearchDataBackup published a piece last year about Oracle laying out its enterprise tape library roadmap for its largest customers. This is part of that.

Storage is just one of the pieces of the stack that Oracle overtly wants to own from head to toe. It wants to be able to sell customers the chip to the application and everything in between. This announcement feeds into that. In particular, it signals Oracle’s commitment to StorageTek and building its own storage solutions — at least tape — by itself.

Earlier this month we wrote an Oracle 2011 predictions story, with one prediction being that Oracle would buy a storage company this year. But maybe that won’t happen. Maybe Oracle plans instead on investing engineering resources into the StorageTek brand of Sun that it acquired last year.

Update: SearchDataBackup has a full story on the T10000C.

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