Support building for DVD-RAM

Posted on October 01, 1998

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Support building for DVD-RAM

Zachary Shess

DVD-RAM drive and media manufacturer Panasonic last month sponsored DVD-RAM Day, a mini-conference to highlight the growing number of hardware and software vendors introducing products and support for the emerging technology. Since Panasonic`s LF-D101 DVD-RAM drives are compliant with DVD Forum specifications--and perhaps just as importantly--are shipping, company officials maintain that vendors are now confident to build applications based on the standard. They point to the more than 160 hardware and software vendors who support the DVD Forum.

A number of vendors at DVD-RAM Day announced support for the Panasonic drive. Informix and the Plexus Division of BancTec are expanding an ongoing development and marketing relationship with Panasonic, with Plexus supporting the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive, and Informix supporting the Plexus optical interface in its release of Informix Dynamic Server 7.3 for Windows NT. Officials with the three companies maintain this agreement will provide lower cost and increased capacity in areas such as data warehousing and Web content management. Seagate Software announced that its Backup Exec Desktop 98 is compatible with Panasonic`s LF-D101. And Dantz Development Corp. says its Retrospect backup software suite will also accommodate the Panasonic drive.

At the conference, most vendors demonstrated DVD-RAM`s prowess in consumer and desktop applications, yet a significant group of storage vendors introduced new products to illustrate the technology has viable uses in enterprise environments.

On the hardware side, Plasmon demonstrated a working prototype of an automated DVD-RAM jukebox. The prototype is a four-drive configuration with 120 slots, 312GB of capacity, and support for DVD-ROM, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW.

Cygnet Storage Solutions announced that its Infinidisc jukebox is now shipping with DVD-RAM drives. Configured with 2 to 8 DVD-RAM drives, the Infinidisc can hold up to 500 single-sided discs. List price is expected to be around $33,000.

This month, Maxoptix starts shipping its DVD-Max, a 5.2GB DVD-RAM drive. The drive offers a transfer rate of 2.76MBps and compatibility with several media formats, including DVD-RAM/ROM/R, CD-ROM (Mode 1 and 2) and CD-ROM XA. Pricing starts at $799.NSM Jukebox announced plans to integrate DVD-RAM drives into its Satellite and Mercury CD library lines. While pricing was not divulged, these integrated libraries are expected to be available in the fourth quarter.

With the introduction of its SmartCD 3.0 software for Windows NT, Smart Storage introduced a new Universal Disk Format (UDF) file system. SmartCD is designed to transparently manage all CD and DVD media, allowing network clients to write to, or read from, the networked storage device. Tracer Technologies introduced an HTML-based DVD-RAM drive and jukebox management software for Unix workstations. Based on its MagnaVault software and an enhanced file system, the software is designed to transparently mount all of the optical media in any attached jukebox while automatically scheduling access to the optical drives.

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