By Dave Simpson
April 7, 2010 – Earlier this month, Quantum introduced tape drives, autoloaders and media based on the latest generation of LTO tape technology – LTO-5 Ultrium. This week, the company announced a high-end LTO-5 library that scales up to 16PB of capacity.
The Scalar i6000 replaces Quantum's Scalar i2000, and can be configured with up to 12 modules, 5,322 tape cartridge slots, 96 tape drives and eight import/export stations with 528 slots (twice as many as the i2000).
LTO-5 nearly doubles the capacity of 800GB LTO-4 tape cartridges to 1.5TB (or 3TB assuming 2:1 compression) and LTO-5 drives have a native data transfer rate of up to 140MBps (280MBps in compressed mode, which translates into a backup rate of 1TB per hour).
Quantum's Scalar i6000 tape library comes with an external 8Gbps Fibre Channel connection, and the LTO-5 drives are available with 4Gbps or 8Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces.
As do LTO-4 tape drives, LTO-5 drives include native encryption. Quantum's libraries support Scalar Key Manager and Quantum Encryption Key Manager (Q-EKM), and with the introduction of the Scalar i6000 the company now supports RSA key management.
Also new with the Scalar i6000 is an enhanced version of Quantum's iLayer management software and the introduction of Media Data Integrity Analysis (MeDIA) software. MeDIA is similar to media monitoring, analysis and management tools available from tape media manufacturers, but it also monitors "deep archive" media (i.e., tape cartridges not being actively used), according to Ryan Duffy, Quantum's automation product marketing manager. "Users can be assured that their archived data is available when needed," says Duffy.
MeDIA software runs in the background and scans tape cartridges to detect potential media problems and ensure data integrity.
The new version of Quantum's iLayer management software also includes a media security notification feature that helps prevent unauthorized media removal.
An entry-level configuration of the Scalar i6000 is priced at $63,000 with 100 tape cartridge slots and no drives. LTO-5 drives are priced at about $20,000.
Quantum also introduced the 4.0 version of its Vision software, which can be used to manage the company's Scalar tape-based and DXi disk-based backup products in tiered storage environments. Enhancements include expanded monitoring, more granular and customizable reporting, and improved alerting and troubleshooting features.
HP ships LTO-5 tape drives, libraries, media