The words "tape" and "innovative" usually don't occupy space in the same sentence. But in the eyes of the editors and judges, the Overland Neo Series 4000 tape library couldn't seem to shake the words. The Neo sparked attention with its superior scalability and failover capabilities.
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To get some of the specs out of the way -- the Neo LXN4000 series libraries scale from one drive and 52 cartridges to 16 drives and 240 cartridges. The Neo LXN4000 series accommodates DLT8000, SDLT, SDLT320, LTO-1 and recently added support for LTO-2 drives. Clearly, this library option can accommodate enterprises forecasting widespread growth. The Neo also supports 1Gb/s and 2Gb/s FC technology.
So where does the innovation come in? In a couple of areas, the Neo has features not readily available on tape libraries. For instance, the Neo is able to be remotely repaired on the fly. This allows administrators to find an error and fix it without bringing systems down and without tinkering with cabling. Bob Abraham, President of Ojai, CA-based analyst firm Freeman Reports, says that the Overland series has some upscale features for a midrange product. Freeman points out that the Neo Series is attractive to midsized companies that have their eyes on growth. The Neo Series can accommodate this by economizing floor space with its rack design. This rack-and-stack feature allows anywhere from 4TB to 66TB and can write 115GB/hour to 1,840GB/hour.
Additionally, the Neo has a partitioning option that allows for virtual sublibraries. These sublibraries allow for a centralized point of management. Included in the ease of manageability is a touch-screen GUI. Software companies participating in the certification of Overland's Neo tape libraries range from Computer Associates, Legato, Veritas, Tivoli, BakBone, CommVault, Syncsort, Atempo, everStor, and LiveVault.
One of the only setbacks we could find with the Series 4000 was its lack of support for AIT. But for the price -- anywhere from $22,500 for the low end and about $115,000 for the full boat -- and the features you get, it's tough to top Overland's Neo Series 4000 for backup hardware needs.
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