Oracle announces its first scalable, entry-level tape library

The new library replaces three previous models

Oracle today unveiled a new LTO-5 tape library targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses and remote offices that can scale from 45TB to 900TB capacity using data compression.

The Oracle StorageTek SL150 tape library actually replaces three previous models - the SL24, SL48 (both entry-level libraries) and the SL500 (a midrange product) -- because it can scale from 30 tape cartridge slots to 300 slots and from one to 20 tape drives.

"We wanted to design a product with great scalability that was very simple to operate and offered users tremendous savings," said Tom Wultich, director of tape systems product management at Oracle

The new tape library is the first using LTO-5 half-height cartridges to come out of Oracle since the company acquired StorageTek in 2009 when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2009. Sun acquired StorageTek in 2005.

The new Oracle StorageTek SL150 tape library.

"This is the first tape project we kicked off after being acquired by Oracle," said Wultich, formerly of StorageTek. "We've done really well in the high-end library space, and so we really wanted to refresh our lower-end offerings."

As the name suggests, half-height LTO-5 cartridges are more compact than full-height cartridges and can hold 1.5TB of data versus 3TB in the full-height version.

While the tape library hardware may be StorageTek, the SL150 runs on Oracle's Fusion Middleware Software, which offers a simplified management GUI that can be managed over Ethernet via a web browser. "This library has a beautiful touch-screen panel," Wultich said.

A screenshot of Oracle's Fusion Middleware GUI.

The SL150 is also designed to allow users to install it themselves. It can grow in 2U (3.5-in high) increments, Wultich said.

"The target user for the new SL150 is, above all, looking for just a handful of things, headed by simplicity, scalability and reliability," said Mark Peters, a senior analyst at research firm ESG. "The unique engineering of the SL150 is beguilingly straightforward, yet has ample capabilities for its intended users who will no doubt be pleased that this junior thoroughbred comes from the proven Oracle StorageTek stable."

Oracle did not offer pricing information for the SL150.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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