Oracle banks on data volume for tape growth

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Oracle banks on data volume for tape growth

Finance industry, internet giants still on tape.

Oracle has answered competitors’ claims of a declining tape storage market by further committing itself to the decades-old technology.

The vendor last month introduced the Exabyte StorageTek T10000C system – its third tape product announcement since acquiring Sun Microsystems last January.

According to Tom Wultich, Oracle’s director of product management for tape storage, the company was investing significantly in a range of storage technology, including tape, flash and disk.

Responding to comments made by disk storage vendor EMC, Wultich expected tight budgets and growing amounts of data to drive demand for tape.

Last month, EMC was admitted into the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s largest ball of tape to celebrate the technology’s demise.

“Last year, we told people that we were committed to tape ... the proof’s in the pudding,” Wultich said, highlighting Oracle’s recent product announcements.

“Tape is anything but dead,” he told iTnews. “People are keeping more and more information for longer periods of time ... The tape market is actually growing.”

Wultich highlighted a December report from Clipper Group analysts that found the disk-based data archiving solutions to cost an average of 15 times tape-based products.

The additional cost appeared to outweigh disk’s performance benefits, he noted, adding that a large bank and a “major internet company” were Oracle’s largest tape customers.

“Disk prices cannot possibly go down as quickly as their [customers’] data volume is going up – and their budgets aren’t getting any larger,” Wultich said.

“The [storage] technologies are very, very different. We see a case for flash, we see a case for disk, and we see a case for tape,” he said, declining to disclose Oracle’s investment figures.

“For most customers, it’s not about disk or tape; it’s about how much disk and how much tape.”

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