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Sony debuts tape systems for HSM

Sony Electronics debuted its PetaSite Select Systems this week, a series of tape library storage systems that are pre-configured with hardware and software designed for hierarchical storage management.

Sony Electronics Inc., has launched a series of high-capacity tape libraries called PetaSite Select Systems, which are specifically designed for users employing hierarchical storage management (HSM) strategies.

The new PetaSite Select Systems are pre-assembled and configured with high-speed and high-capacity Digital Tape Format (DTF) drives, Sony PetaServe HSM software, and feature optional expansion consoles to accommodate storage scaling and multiple media formats.

Sony said its PetaServe HSM software lets IT managers set data-specific parameters, which allows the systems to automatically and transparently move files between the server and the PetaSite, managing the network's complete on-line, near-on-line, and archival storage hierarchy.

In a recent report, Robert Abraham, analyst for Freeman Reports, said a single high-capacity tape drive may provide the needed capacity and performance more effectively than some small tape libraries utilizing lower capacity/performance components. Sony's DTF-2 tape drive is specified at 200 G Bytes of capacity with a data transfer rate of 42 M-Bit/sec.

Abraham said tape libraries are a major component in multi-level hierarchical storage systems. Various software offerings provide for the management of all storage devices and file requests, while providing users with transparent access to all files.

This seamless and transparent integration of multiple storage technologies balances the speed of an all-magnetic disk system and the economies of a removable media system, Abraham said.

The DMS-B80 SNTE/P PetaSite tape library is designed for entry-level to midrange storage environments. It holds between one and four DTF-2 tape drives, and depending upon the drive configuration, 63 to 81 tape cartridges can be stored, giving the user an overall capacity of more than 16T Bytes uncompressed.

The DMS-B150L PetaSite Select System is tailored to customers who use multiple media formats, stated Sony. The DMS-B150L has the optional DMS-EX150L extension consoles, which let users attach from one to six extension consoles to the core library - expanding maximum capacity from 25 T Bytes to 128 T Bytes. The core library system can house from one to six DTF drives and from 126 to 150 large cassettes, depending upon drive configuration. The extension consoles allow it to support multiple media formats. Each extension console can house one or two DTF drives or Sony half-inch VTRs, and each can hold 83 DTF L-cassettes or half-inch videotapes. The extensions can also be used without internal tape drives or VTRs.

The third member of the series is the DMS-8SNTE/P library. Sony said it is optimized for large-scale archive and network support requirements. It can incorporate up to 828 DTF tape drives, and the overall storage capacity ranges from 11.2 T Bytes to as large as 11.2 P Bytes.

PetaSite Select Systems can be configured with either an Ultra-wide SCSI or a Fibre Channel interface or both. As a result, library control can be employed through either a SCSI or Ethernet connection.

Each PetaSite System features Sony's PetaServe software, which is also installed on Sun Microsystems' new eight-way Sun Fire V880 server, an entry-level system with mainframe-like technologies and Sun's 64-bit UltraSPARC III processors.

The PetaSite Select Systems are available today for a suggested list price of about $388,000.


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