Oracle Intros Its First Entry-level, Scalable StorageTek Tape Library

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Oracle on Wednesday unveiled its first-ever scalable tape library for the SMB market, one that it said will replace three other models on its product line card.

The release of Oracle's new StorageTek SL150 Modular Tape Library comes at a time when the tape library industry is experiencing a renaissance due to the low cost and long lifespan of tape drives and tapes compared to hard drives.

Tom Wultich, director of tape product management at Oracle, pointed to a 2011 survey by analyst firm Gartner that said 78 percent of respondents use tape. He also pointed to analyst firm IDC, which estimated the amount of data kept on tape is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 45 percent from 2010 to 2015.

[Related: Storage Tape Makes A Comeback]

For Oracle, that represents an opportunity to introduce a scalable tape library targeting the SMB market, Wultich said.

"Customers are facing unpredictable data growth at a time when IT budgets are constrained," he said. "Our goal is to be scalable and simple out of the box."

The StorageTek SL150 Modular Tape Library has a base configuration of one or two LTO-5 tape drives and 30 tape slots. It can be expanded via 2U modules, each of which has up to two drives and 30 tape slots, for a total compressed capacity of 900 TBs, Wultich said. Management is done via a color touch screen on the front of the chassis or over the Web.

With the introduction of the StorageTek SL150 Modular Tape Library, Oracle will phase out three current models, including the 24-slot SL24, the 48-slot SL48 and the scalable SL500, Wultich said.

"Our new model replaces these three models," he said. "That's much better for VARs. One product, not three. It's simpler, and it's priced aggressively."


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