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back to article Spectra builds MONSTER TRUCK of tape libraries

SpectraLogic has built the biggest, baddest mother of a tape library you can imagine, a 400,000 slot T-Finity monster with a 3.6 exabyte capacity. It's upgrading its T-Finity tape library with 8-node clustering and new BlueScale software to support exabyte capacity levels with RAID protection across tape cartridges. Spectra …

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Silver badge

Good & bad

Good point is the appearance of tape-raid, but surely they are not the first to do this? After all it is a simple adaptation of disk raid but with (presumably) some optimisation or HDD cache to get round the tedious linear access of tape.

Bad point is WTF do they quote 3:1 compressed sizes for? Who actually sees that in practice?

I suspect that if you are similar to FB most of your data volume will be compressed images (maybe compressed PDF docs in business environment) so you won't see anything like 3:1 compression. Maybe if you have a lot of sparse VM you might, but really that is a con.

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compression

3:1 is reasonable for SAP.

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Anonymous Coward

Tape RAID

The problem with RAIDing tape, rather than just mirroring each tape is that you need enough tape drives free to restore each backup, the tapes then need to be synced up. It's very slow for restores and you can end up waiting ages for free drives. Much better to run inline to two tape drives, or to backup and duplicate to another tape library - that way you get to read each backup and verify it.

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SAP

Would you really see these volumes in SAP though?

(Genuine question, not rhetorical - I don't know SAP)

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What volume?

> Would you really see these volumes in SAP though?

we are at around 2TB (per instance), which is allegedly rather small.15TB is common, ~80 large.

depends on how much you integrate into one landscape.

And remember SAP always comes in three-packs (dev, QA and prod)

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Paris Hilton

Does Facebook really care?

If Facebook were to blow up tomorrow, would anyone really care? It's not the Gutenberg Bible we're talking about here. Oh I know there would be a wailing and gnashing of teeth, but dropping a few million bucks on a mega tape system so FB can store the masturbatory aggrandisements of a bunch of 13 year-olds seems like a poor return on investment.

Paris, because her slot has been well-taped.

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IT Angle

Dedupe not enough?

Maybe they should delete all those cat pics and vids.

Seriously though most data is complete garbage. Maybe it's about time admins got tough with what data to keep and what goes into the digital black hole instead of retaining every damned byte from the last 20 years.

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But...

Is it VHS or is it BetaMax?

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@Paul Crawford, re: compression rates...

I think I see a 1.5-1.7:1 average compression on our LTO-4 tapes. Then again, the only reason we moved to the gen 4 tapes is because I can fit each subsystem that we backup onto a single tape instead of splitting it across two gen-3 tapes. *wry grin*

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Silver badge

Tapes keep rollin'

They are going to need some monster networking to feed those tape drives. And some monster logistics for tape off-siting. I guess any tape movements would involve moving the whole RAID set, since a tape is useless without its RAID set buddies.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

I strongly suspect that the sort of customers that will be buying these machines will have offsite replication, so no need to offsiting and serious tape-dedicated fibrechannel SANs, using serverless backups.

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Bronze badge
Pirate

Would have been nice to have a mention of what the I/O on this is? How long would it take to back up to or from this unit if any serious amount of the full capacity was needed?

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Linux

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Sorry, sorry, this just hasn't been said in a long time, has it?

I'll get my coat.

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