Exabyte? 1,000 Petabytes, 1,000,000 Terabytes or 1 billion Gigabytes. 1 EB is a big number, but that’s not the most impressive thing about the new technology.
Oracle/Sun/StorageTek announces a new tape drive this morning, the StorageTek T10000C. StorageTek built their business on high-capacity tape drives and robotic tape silos for mainframe and large-scale data storage environments.
With a 5 TB native capacity and normal 2x compression, each cartridge can store 10 TB of data. Key to the capacity is the use of a new medium, Barium-Ferrite (BaFe) tape.
BaFe has a couple of big advantages over today’s metal particle tapes.
- Fujifilm has figured out how to mass produce BaFe particles that are 1/3rd the size of current metal particles. Smaller particles = higher density and higher coercivity.
- Unlike metal particles, BaFe doesn’t rust. Today’s metal particles used in tape typically have 2 layers of ceramic coating to protect against oxidation, an extra processing step BaFe - which is very stable - doesn’t need.
Of course, a new tape without a new tape head to take advantage of it is useless. New media and head development go hand in hand.
While Fujifilm did the heavy lifting on the media, StorageTek built a 32 track read/write head. The most impressive number? They spec an unrecoverable read error rate of 1×10-19 - 1,000 times better than enterprise disks.
Oh, and StorageTek’s largest silo has 100,000 slots. Do the math.