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Overland Storage expands tape libraries with NEO-XL product line

Overland Storage releases 60- and 80-slot automated tape libraries in 6U rack and scales tape storage into petabyte range.

Overland Storage has moved into a variety of disk products -- including removable drives -- over the past few years, but went back to its roots with its latest product release.

Overland last week launched the NEO-XL Series of automated libraries designed for scalable, high-density archiving and backup.

The NEO-XL product family consists of two 6U appliances that support Linear Tape Open 5 (LTO-5) and LTO-6 technology specifications and are designed for compatibility with future LTO generations. Each unit can scale to 560 cartridge slots and 42 tape drives with the addition of up to six NEO-XL expansion units. The NEO-XL Series starts with 90 TB of storage and can scale to 3.5 PB of compressed capacity with additional tape modules.

The midrange NEO-XL60 base unit has 60 cartridge slots and three tape drives. Its storage capacity ranges from 90 TB to 375 TB. Rated for data transfer of 5.4 GB to 4.3 TB per hour, Overland said the 60-slot version is geared to SMBs.

The higher capacity NEO-XL80 has 80 cartridge slots and six tape drives, 120 TB to 500 TB of storage, and a top-end transfer speed of 8.6 TB per hour. The 80-slot library includes multiple power supplies as a standard feature for redundancy. Overland is aiming the NEO-XL80 library at small to medium enterprises with use cycles that require high-performance storage.

Overland also unveiled an eight-slot, six-drive NEO-XL Expansion unit for customers to modify or scale out their tape storage. Up to seven NEO-XL libraries can be stacked together, including the base unit and six Expansion units, to reach 560 slots and 42 total drives.

"End users in this space often get caught in an awkward position. They have the business needs of a true enterprise, but the resources of an SMB. Customers told us they need a library that has more capacity, but in a smaller space and at a lower price point," said Peri Grover, a senior director of product marketing for Overland's tape products group.

Pricing varies with configuration, capacity options

All three appliances are generally available. The list price for the NEO-XL60 starts at $12,599. Companies can license 20 additional cartridge slots and three additional drives for the NEO-XL60 by purchasing an upgrade kit for $6,500.

Pricing for the NEO-XL80 starts at $17,699. A single Expansion unit costs $10,999.

Overland characterizes the NEO-XL libraries as an enhancement of its NEO Series, although one Overland reseller expects it to eventually supplant lower and midrange tape libraries in the company's NEOe Series line.

"It's going to end up replacing the NEO 4000e, for sure, and more than likely the NEO 2000e," said Dan Peichel, president of Peripheral Products Inc. in Dallas.

"We do a lot of work with small groups whose storage needs are growing because of regulatory requirements and the need to store data off-site. A lot of them use disk-to-disk to accommodate their backup windows, but they still have to go to tape at some point. The NEO-XL looks like a good fit because it takes up a lot less rack space."

NEO-XL supports partitioning, management interface

Like other Overland tape library products, the NEO-XL family includes software intelligence for partitioning a physical tape library into smaller libraries, each with a separate firewall. The feature enables a single library to support multiple application workloads.

The NEO-XL rollout features a revamped interface for remote management that is designed to support an LTFS product scheduled for release in December.

Overland's tape sales increased 4% sequentially during its June fiscal quarter, accounting for $4 million of its $20 million in product-related revenue. The revenue figure includes Overland's acquisition in January of Tandberg Data.

Next Steps

Sphere 3D buys Overland Storage

Overland Storage launches SnapSAN for high availability

Overland Storage adds SSD to SnapSAN

Dig Deeper on Tape backup and tape libraries

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