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Spectra Logic claims biggest and fastest TFinity tape library

Spectra Logic claims multi-petabyte capacities and speedier tape robot cycle times with TFinity Exascale Edition, a product aimed at tape’s new niche in archive and cold storage

Spectra Logic has announced upgrades to its TFinity tape library that make it the world’s biggest, it claims, with improvements to the controller software and robot that make it up to 5x faster.

The upgraded TFinity – the Exascale Edition – will comprise 44 frames per chassis, an increase from 40. This will allow for up to 53,460 LTO format tapes and 0.8EB of capacity (compressed). In IBM TS1150 format, that potential capacity increases to 1EB of compressed data.

Eight libraries can be joined together for maximum capacity of 8EB. Throughput for a single library is 130TB per hour (uncompressed) or 324TB per hour compressed for LTO-7 tapes.

Improvements such as use of brushless motors in the dual robots have improved tape cycle times by up to 2.5x. Meanwhile, improvements to controller software boost that by up to 5x with more efficient use of free tape slots to reduce cycle times. Still, data read times are in the order of a couple of minutes.

Tape was almost ubiquitous as a backup medium, but now– despite much ringing of its death knell – it is being used to store large volumes of data, largely as archive or “cold” storage, said Matt Starr, CTO at Spectra Logic.

“When people think of tape, they think of 2U and 4U tape automation systems that were the bulk of those deployed and not of the number of drives and media currently deployed. Now the backup and archive market has shifted, to be replaced by disk and cloud,” he said.

“Overall, the shift is from tape as everyday backup to much larger libraries, in some cases with customers with data so large it goes straight to archive on tape. For the largest customers it’s a way of storing petabytes of storage cheaply and reliably.”

The Exascale Edition library can also now accommodate Oracle (formerly StorageTek) format tapes. ... .... ..... .... .... .... ... .... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... .. . . .

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