If you’re reading this blog it’s probably because you have some interest or connection with the IT and data storage landscapes. If that’s the case, you’re more than likely familiar with the different mediums that have dominated the data storage landscape over the years. This article is intended to take a deeper dive into the data tape industry, with the Sun Oracle StorageTek T10000 T2 data tape to be exact.
The T10000 is the latest Sun/Oracle StorageTek tape cartridge product line for mainframe and open systems. All generations of the T10000 media cartridge in this product family have used the same external and tape media form factors. The first model, the T10000, had a native capacity of 500 GB and a native transfer rate of 120 MB/s. Among the several generational updates was a new tape cartridge, the T10000 T2, capable of storing 5 TB of data natively.
T10000 T2 Data Tape Specifications
Physical measurements of the cartridge are as follows:
- Height: 2.45 centimeters (0.964 inches)
- Length: 12.5 centimeters (4.92 inches)
- Depth (width): 10.9 centimeters (4.29 inches)
Like most data tapes similar to it, the cartridge life of the T10000 T2 is approximately 30 years. More specifically when used with the T10000C or D drives, the life is about 25,000 loads/unloads.
|Manufacturer||Oracle (formerly Sun/StorageTek)|
|Format||T10000 (T10K) T2|
7106219-L (Labeled Only)
7106219-LI (Labeled and Initialized)
|Tape length and thickness||T10000 T2 tape cartridge: 3763 ft. (1147 m) and 5.2 um|
|Track-following servo||Factory prerecorded|
|Capacity, native (uncompressed)||5.0TB (StorageTek T10000C Drive)|
8.5 TB (StorageTek T10000D)
|Archival life||30 years|
|Uncorrected bit error rate||1×10-19|
|Loads/unloads||25,000 (T10000 T2)|
|Supported tape drives||StorageTek T10000C|
|Number of tracks||3,584 (StorageTek T10000C)|
4,608 (StorageTek T10000D)
Types of T10000 T2 Tape Cartridges
There is more than one type of T10000 T2 Tape Cartridges. All of the cartridges use a single reel hub to maximize performance and are optimized for high capacity. The different types of cartridges are standard, sport, VolSafe, and cleaning. We will go more in-depth on each type of cartridge below.
Standard cartridges are the more common read or write data cartridges and can be easily identified by the black access door. Each standard data cartridge has a native capacity of 5 TB when used with T10000C drives or 8 TB when used with T10000D drives. When Max Capacity is enabled, the capacity is 5.5 TB and 8.5 TB, respectively. The StorageTek T10000 T2 data cartridge specification supports 25,000 loads/unloads. When the number of loads/unloads is exceeded, the tape drive issues a warning message to the user.
Sport cartridges are a smaller adaptation of the standard cartridges above. The sport cartridges can be identified by a red access door. Each sport data cartridge has a native capacity of 1 TB when used with T10000C or 1.6TB when used with T10000D. Similar to the standard cartridge, the sport cartridge supports 25,000 loads/unloads.
The VolSafe cartridge is very unique as it is designed for write-once, read-many (WORM) applications. The data written to the cartridge can’t be erased without destroying the tape itself. The VolSafe cartridge can be identified by a yellow access door. VolSafe and WORM technologies are ideal for data storage, protection, and archive for a variety of applications such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
T10000 T2 writes data to a VolSafe tape and then the drive can add a variety of data sets onto the cartridge until the cartridge is full. This allows VolSafe to permanently archive data on the tape without the possibility of data loss. VolSafe cartridges come in both standard and sport capacities while supporting 25,000 loads/unloads.
A cleaning cartridge is designed to clean a tape drive’s head and tape path. A cleaning cartridge can be used to clean a tape drive’s head up to the rated number of passes. An attempt to use a cleaning cartridge beyond that results in the tape drive rejecting the cartridge and posting an error message to the host. Cleaning cartridges can be identified by a white access door.
How to Care for T10000 T2 Tape Cartridges
To ensure proper operation and longevity, T10000 T2 cartridges need appropriate care and maintenance. When dealing with brand new cartridges, unpack the new tape cartridges in the area in which they will be used and allow them to adapt to the temperature and humidity for at least 24 hours. Be careful, as tape cartridges are easily damaged if not cared for properly. Follow the tape cartridge handling guidelines below.
- Do not open a tape cartridge or touch the tape.
- Do not carry tape cartridges loosely in a container.
- Do not expose the tape or cartridge to direct sunlight or moisture.
- Do not expose a recorded tape cartridge to magnetic fields.
- Maintain clean operating, working, and storage environments.
If your T10000 T2 cartridges need to be cleaned, be sure to wipe all dust, dirt, and moisture from the cartridge using a lint-free cloth. When finished cleaning, store the tape cartridges in an environment within the specified range of temperature and humidity.