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Why Enterprise Tape Can't Get No Respect

Jun 18, 2010, 15:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Henry Newman)

[ Thanks to Paul Shread for this link. ]

"Tape library support: More likely than not, if you buy a library from someone other than IBM or Oracle, the only tape drives that will be supported will be LTO drives. In addition, you will not find IBM libraries supporting Oracle drives, nor IBM drives in an Oracle library. The qualification for tape drives within a library cannot be easily accomplished without the consent and help of a vendor, and why would IBM or Oracle want to help a competitor sell libraries? So what ends up happening is that enterprise tapes are only available from enterprise tape drive vendors in their own libraries, which leads to a lack of competition for drives in tape libraries.

"Enterprise tape standards: When IBM developed the original 3480 tape cartridge, which in my opinion was the starting point for enterprise tape, that technology became synonymous with tape. Everyone wanted to copy that form factor and format, and that's what they did. IBM compatible tapes were the only enterprise tape, even though there were plenty of enterprise disk vendors.

"With several different enterprise disk vendors, there was a clear effort to define differences. By the late 1980s, the SCSI standard was released, and soon thereafter IDE, which eventually became the ATA standard and then SATA. It became clear by the 1990s that the standard for enterprise drives in open systems was 3.5-inch SCSI drives."

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