Quantum expands tape line, adds disk

Posted on March 09, 2006

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By Ann Silverthorn

—Quantum this week announced two new products to expand its tape line and extend its reach into disk-based backup and recovery. The DLT-S4 tape drive continues the renaming of the SDLT moniker and offers increased capacity and throughput, while GoVault is a removable disk-based device for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and remote offices that want to simplify the backup, recovery, and archiving process.

Quantum is also placing its tape software products under the umbrella of its DLTSage brand.

Commenting on Quantum's expansion activities, Mark O'Malley, product strategy manager, says, "We bought Certance a year ago, which added LTO, DAT, DDS, and Travan formats to our tape portfolio. Tape is a mature business—growing in some areas and shrinking in others—so we're looking beyond tape in terms of growth and investing in disk-based systems, software, and services. DLT-S4 continues the investment in tape technology while GoVault is a departure for us."

The DLT-S4 provides 1.6TB of capacity (800GB native) and a transfer rate of 120MBps (60MBps native). That's approximately double the capacity and performance of Quantum's SDLT 600 drive. The DLT-S4 has backward read compatibility with SDLT 600 and SDLT 320. Interface options include 4Gbps Fibre Channel, Ultra320 SCSI, and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). The media is referred to as DLTtape S4.

The DLT-S4 tape drive is priced from about $4,495, and the media is priced at about $100 per cartridge.

O'Malley says the DLT-S4 is targeted to businesses using tape as an archival medium, storing large quantities of data. The DLT-S4 is also designed for organizations that use disk-to-tape backup, characterized by storage-intensive applications that are growing quickly, such as video and multimedia. Additionally, DLT-S4 targets companies with centrally managed backup architectures standardized on SDLT.

"Tape drives are traditionally launched as a standalone product first, and then it takes the automation vendors three to six months to integrate the product into their libraries and autoloaders. We didn't think that made sense, so the DLT-S4 is available as both a stand-alone drive and in the PX720 library," says O'Malley.

When the DLTSage data-protection software suite launched in 2002, Quantum focused on the management features of the product, including monitoring, diagnostics, and reporting tools to enable users to monitor the health of tape media and manage their backup environments. DLT-S4 is the first product to offer the DLTSage tape security feature announced in December. This is an electronic lock for the tape cartridge, which either prevents or allows access to data on the cartridge. According to O'Malley, the goal is to solve the "tapes-fell-off-the-back-of-the-truck" problem. If that does occur, the data is secure.

Encryption at the drive level is planned for the second half of this year. In addition, the DLTIce write-once, read-many (WORM) feature that Quantum introduced 18 months ago on its SDLT 600 drive has been re-branded DLTSage WORM.

Quantum's companion announcement this week, GoVault, is a 2.5-inch mobile disk drive encased in a ruggedized cartridge. The cartridge is inserted in a 3.5-inch or 5.25-inch server-embedded dock. GoVault has a Serial ATA (SATA) interface, and the drives are available in three capacities: 40GB, 80GB, and 120GB. The transfer rate is 25MBps.

GoVault ships with a copy of Yosemite's backup software, but is also compatible with other popular backup products. Quantum recommends a three-cartridge rotation scheme, which allows backups to be taken off-site for disaster-recovery purposes.

Pricing for GoVault starts at $299, which includes one dock, a 40GB cartridge, and the Yosemite software.


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