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Compaq adds Quantum SuperLoader to StorageWorks lineup

Compaq Computer and Quantum are building on a ten-year OEM relationship with the addition of Quantum's latest tape autoloader to Compaq's StorageWorks line of storage products.

Quantum Corp., Milpitas, Calif., is building upon a decade-old OEM relationship with Houston, Texas-based Compaq Computer Corp., by adding its newest tape autoloader products to the mix. Compaq can now offer users a unit with greater scale.

Compaq is set to offer the Quantum SuperLoader with its StorageWorks product line. Dubbed the StorageWorks DLT1 1280 SuperLoader, the modular, expandable autoloader can pack up to 16 tape cartridges in a 2U rack-mount form factor.

The StorageWorks SuperLoader is an expandable, stackable unit that stores 320G Bytes of uncompressed backup data with one eight-cartridge magazine. The SuperLoader has been clocked with a transfer rate of up to 10.8G Bytes per hour. Customers can scale the StorageWorks SuperLoader to 640 gigabytes of uncompressed storage by adding a second 8-cartridge magazine as their backup requirements expand, protecting their storage investment.

The system utilizes standard DLT Type IV media with backward read compatibility for DLTtape media cartridges written in the DLT 20/40 format.

Bob Abraham, president of Freeman Reports, an Ojai, Calif.-based analyst firm dedicated to the tape storage market said the addition of the SuperLoader to Compaq's StorageWorks line is a solid move.

"Compaq doesn't have an autoloader that is capable of [expanding] up to 16 cartridges. It gives them extra reach," said Abraham.

He added that the use of DTL Type IV media is clearly slower than other formats such as SuperDLT, but he believes that SDLT for the SuperLoader will be the next shoe to drop.

Abraham said that the pending merger of Compaq and Hewlett-Packard Co. will have little bearing on their respective tape automation products.

Despite the fact that HP teamed with Seagate Technology and IBM to develop the chief competitor to DLT tape - LTO Ultrium tape - a merged HP/Compaq will likely continue to sell both formats into its customer base.

"Companies like HP and Compaq don't do things impulsively. Compaq's going to continue to keep buying DLT technology in the future even if they are connected to HP," Abraham said.

Any long-term decision to lean toward LTO over DLT will not come any sooner now that Compaq is married to HP, he said.

Compaq is positioning the autoloader as a "hands-off" backup system for cramped quarters in overcrowded data centers as well as for small businesses, remote/branch offices and workgroup/departmental servers.

Quantum has packed the SuperLoader with Web-based, remote management tools that allow administrators to configure, control, monitor, diagnose, maintain and update the system from any Web browser, said Edward Flynn, director of hardware engineering for Compaq.

Other features include removable magazines for bulk loading and unloading, mail slot access to cartridges without system interruption, integrated drive and loader control and an optional bar code reader.

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


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