Oracle has been boasting about its dominance in tape, saying it has now shipped more than an exabyte's worth of media for StorageTek T10000C tape drives in the nine months after its release – a faster ramp than for any other StorageTek product. Oracle also shipped more enterprise tape drives than any other vendor in the first …
I wonder what kind of tape they are using
Over the last 2 decades every tape I've seen have been about as and often even more expensive than disk drives at the same capacity. It seems unlikely to me that a fairly complex thing like a tape changer can be cheaper than the electronic overhead of a disk array. After all that's as cheap as disk, and if you are contempt with tape-like performance, you can even heavily overbook the bandwidth to the drives.
A proper price comparison could be interesting
That would be one that compares:
a) the cost of the online disk array plus a geographically remote disk array, data centre and rental for enough comms bandwidth between the two to guarantee no data loss if the online array goes bang. Don't forget that the comms bandwidth must be considerably more than the disk array's average data rate in order to handle resyncs after one of the arrays has gone down and been fixed and restarted.
b) the cost of the online disk array plus a local tape system, off site storage for backed-up tape set(s) and the cost of van+driver to shuttle tapes between sites.
When you add in the cost of the remote data centre, the power it uses and the bandwidth rental, you may find the cost difference is a lot less than you expect.
There is something else you're forgetting. Remeber the Distribute.IT hack back in June 2011? They couldn't recover their data mostly because they used an online disk array which the hackers also took out. So even if your disk array is in a geographically separate location it's more than likely going to be connected via some method 24/7 which would make it a lot easier to take out of commision should someone want to. I know there are measures you can take, but nowhere near as strong as having offline backup/archive.
Tape is insainly cheap
I just purchased 200 LTO4 tape at work for 17GBP with labels to my specification applied. Tell me where I can buy a 800GB hard disk for that price please. LTO5 tapes are less than twice the price as well with a 1600GB capacity. Where are those 1.5TB drives for under 30GBP?
Then you have the power and cooling requirements, well those extra 200 tapes consume zero extra power and require zero extra cooling. In fact the whole library requires zero cooling., and less power than a kettle. I run out of tape slots in my library then after paying necessary money to IBM they will come and stick an extra frame on my TS3500 library for another 440 slots. Or I could go for a high capacity frame and have an extra 1300 slots. Extra power and cooling for this, effectively zero.
It does require a couple hundred tapes to cover the cost of the library and become cheaper than disk, but once you have you it just keeps getting cheaper. If you don't understand this then your don't deserve to be doing cloud level storage.
I completely agree with your statement(s)...
You get your LTO4 tapes at a very competitive price... Whereabouts do you purchase your tapes from?
People still do tape? Say it isn't so.
Awesome, now I will have something to use for all of Bryan Adams cassettes
Tape is going to be around for a long time because it is cheap, just dirt cheap. I think Oracle probably forgot they owned StorageTek until they saw this article though. Most of the big tape shops are moving to Big Blue.
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