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New DLTtape reads backwards

The next piece in the Super DLTtape puzzle has been put into place with the announcement that Quantum Corp.'s DLT & Storage Systems Group, Milpitas, Calif., has begun shipping its new backward-read compatible (BRC) Super DLTtape drives to automated tape library vendors for qualification and expects shipment of the backward compatible products to start in January.

The SuperDLT 220 features 110G Bytes of storage capacity with a transfer rate of 11M Bits/sec and is backward-compatible with DLT4000, 7000, and 8000 as well as DLT 1 drives.

Philip Treide, Quantum's manager of superDLT tape product marketing said that the product delivery schedule for the new BRC libraries is gaited by the library vendors and the time it takes to iron out the kinks in the qualification process. "It generally takes a couple of months to qualify the technology. We're looking to ramp up [production] in late December," he said.

In the meantime vendors like Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC), Redmond, Wash., are currently in the process of qualifying Super DLTtape units for use in its entire line of automated tape libraries, from its FastStor autoloaders, FibreReady Scalar mid-range libraries with capacities from 30 to 788 cartridges, all the way up to its enormous AML automated storage systems that automate up to 400 drives and 46,656 cartridges at a capacity of 110G Bytes per cartridge.

Quantum expects Overland Data and ADIC will be the quickest to market with the BRC and libraries, with companies like TDK, Hewlett-Packard, Plasmon, and Exabyte to follow.

The multi-range offerings of SuperDLTtape provide capacity and transfer rates for the workgroup, mid-range and enterprise businesses. Super DLTtape technology offers backward-read compatibility with the existing DLTtape product family, which boasts an install base of more than 1.5 million drives. Like previous generations of DLTtape drives, Super DLTtape technology supports all major systems and platforms, including UNIX, Linux, Netware, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Mac OS. As with the current DLTtape product line, Super DLTtape drives are widely supported by all major Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

In conjunction with this announcement, Quantum is also launching a new advertising campaign aimed at bringing visibility to the DLT format and its position as the de facto tape standard for the last decade. Quantum hopes the media blitz, involving print and online outlets, will let the company's channel partners see DLTtape's proven track record and coax them into adopting the newest SDLT technology.

"Quantum's commitment to compatibility and a seamless migration path has established DLTtape technology as the standard in the mid range tape storage market during the past decade," said Bob Abraham, analyst, Freeman Reports. "Quantum's new Super DLTtape technology, modeled on those same principals of success, will enable continued industry leadership."

For more information:

A DLTtape primer

Quantum Corp.'s Web site

ADIC's Web site

Overland Data's Web site

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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