Oracle has released tape hardware designed to deliver unprecedented storage capacity and data transfer speed.
The T10000C tape cartridge has a native capacity of 5TB, according to Oracle vice-president for tape engineering Jim Cates, and an industry-leading data transfer rate of 240MB/s (360MB/s with the compression enabled).
Cates said Oracle's Enterprise StorageTek StreamLine 8500 library can now store up to an exabyte of data - one million terabytes - using 100,000 T10000 C cartridges with a 2:1 compression ratio.
The new hardware is also backwards compatible with Oracle's Enterprise StorageTek SL3000 tape library.
Cates said the new tape format meant the SL8500 tape library was now the most cost-effective tape solution on the market in terms of its floor space and energy requirements.
Oracle said the new technology should be particularly attactive to the hard-pressed healthcare sector because the cost of providing power and cooling for comparable disk systems is very expensive.
Quocirca service director for business process analysis, Clive Longbottom, said there is still a significant market for tape that Oracle could tap into.
"Archive, legislation, need for off-site data storage, disaster recovery, dealing with massive data quantities all mean there is a place for tape. Even as semi-primary storage, tape can have a role to play, in media and museums for instance," he said.
OS support includes Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Windows and mainframes, and the technology also supports 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity and the FICON (Fibre Connection) protocol.
Sun Microsystems acquired leading tape storage vendor StorageTek in 2005 as part of its drive to offer enterprises end-to-end hardware and software. Oracle bought Sun in early 2010.