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NASA dumps Sun, sticks with tape for archives

It has gone from 55,000 tape cartridge slots to 20,000 with the new install

April 20, 2009 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - NASA's Ames Research Center, announced today that it has consolidated its tape libraries from 10 silos to two, allowing it to reclaim 1,400 square feet of floor space while increasing its data archive from 12 to 32 petabytes of capacity.

NASA said it swapped out 10 tape silos from StorageTek -- now Sun Microsystems Inc. -- in exchange for two Spectra Logic Corp. Spectra T950s libraries each made up of eight frames at a cost of about $1.5 million. The new libraries use LTO-4 drives with a total of 20,000 tape cartridge slots.

The Sun/StorageTek tape libraries were originally purchased in 1989 and had 55,000 cartridge slots.

"Spectra's ability to quickly incorporate specific enhancements that were important to NASA high-end computing operations also played a significant deciding factor," said Alan Powers, high-performance computing technical director at Computer Sciences Corp., NASA's IT contractor.

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