Article

DLT1: Shrink to fit

Kevin Komiega

Good things do come in small packages, at least in the world of tape. Benchmark Storage Innovations, Inc., is offering up a DLT1 tape drive that will fit into a DDS (digital data storage) space. The company is looking to grab users on their way out of DDS technology and looking for a higher performance drive.

The Boulder, Colo., tape and drive manufacturer has introduced the first, half-high 5.25-inch form factor DLT1 tape drive, featuring the same capacity, performance and price of its current DLT1 tape drive in a half-height footprint. The half-height DLT1 will initiate at the end of this year, with general availability scheduled for the first quarter of 2001.

Benchmark said that the smaller form factor would benefit users in terms of space efficiency for both internal and external applications.

"The basis for any tape technology to successfully penetrate the DDS4 space requires three key components, price, performance and form factor. Any competitor to provide all of these in one offering will start to make the case for DDS market transition," said Fara Yale, chief analyst, Computer Storage Service, GartnerGoup's Dataquest.

Benchmark's half-height DLT1 tape drive offers 80G Bytes of compressed capacity and a 6 M-Bits/sec compressed transfer rate. Benchmark said that its new DLT1 drive offers organizations a clear migration path from the DDS space because it is read-compatible with the DLT4000 and utilizes DLTtape IV media.

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Benchmark said that a key factor in the development of the new, smaller drive has been demand from its OEM customers. "We're so OEM leveraged," said Steven Berens, executive director of marketing for Benchmark. Berens said that the target market that the company is looking to capture is that of users looking to exit the DDS space. "DLT1 is starting to be the factor replacement for DDS. We can now fit our drives in the same space that DDS normally fits. We have the ability to standardize on DLT in the form factor that people are used to."

Berens said that Benchmark is going to standardize its tape products on the new half-height form factor, and that while the drives are smaller, the form of the cartridge will remain the same.

Benchmark Storage Innovations, Inc

DLT

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