Quantum Announces Second Source for DLT
In what has begun to resemble a game of strategic one-upmanship between Quantum and the LTO triumvirate (Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Seagate), Quantum last month signed a manufacturing license and marketing agreement with Tandberg Data. The agreement provides for a long-awaited second source for digital linear tape (DLT) drives, and secondarily gives Tandberg the right to market a full spectrum of DLT products, including drives, media, and tape automation products. The door`s also been left open for Quantum to expand its reach into more entry-level markets (e.g., PC servers) targeted by Tandberg`s recently renamed scalable linear recording (SLR) product line. (The new nomenclature includes former single-channel and multi-channel linear recording products.)
The decision to provide customers with a second source for DLT drives, says Brodie Keast, Quantum vice president and general manager of the company`s DLTtape division, was not influenced by LTO, but is an effort "to further expand the market of DLTtape and to provide customers with the choice they`ve been asking for." Quantum is looking to extend the reach of DLT, particularly in European markets. The company would not comment on future pricing of DLT products, except to say that they "do see the competitive environment changing."
Industry analyst firm International Data Corp. (Framingham, MA) believes the agreement bodes well for Quantum`s DLTtape technology. "The alliance," says IDC senior analyst Bob Amatruda, "will allow Tandberg to diversify its product portfolio, spanning from the desktop to the midrange." As for Tandberg`s DLTtape manufacturing efforts, they too come up at a critical juncture, with Ultrium, AIT-2, Mammoth-2, and others, on the horizon (see Cover Story).
The Tandberg/Quantum manufacturing license starts with DLT7000 models; full production is expected in the third quarter of 1999. Tandberg is expected to begin marketing DLT4000 and DLT7000 drives, media, and automation products by year-end.