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Benchmark debuts second generation DLT drive

Benchmark Storage Innovations introduced its second generation, half-high DLT tape drive and media. The ValuSmart Tape 160 is aimed at handling the data backup needs of current server technology.

Benchmark Storage Innovations Inc., Boulder, Colo., announced its second-generation half-high form factor DLT tape drive and its accompanying media, extending tape its ValuSmart Tape product line.

The ValuSmart Tape 160 handles 160 GB of compressed capacity and a 16M Byte/sec compressed transfer rate, the VS Tape 160 features twice the capacity of its predecessor, the ValuSmart Tape 80. The ValuSmart Tape 160 features back-read compatibility with the Benchmark DLT1 and ValuSmart Tape 80. The ValuSmart Tape 160 maintains Benchmark's exclusive half-height form factor for DLT drives.

Benchmark has added a number of enhancements to its new drive over the first generation, the ValuSmart 80, including improved SCSI performance, and more drive heads for better speed and density, according to Steve Berens, Benchmark's vice president of marketing.

The bigger story for Benchmark is its continued quest toward making a name for itself among tape storage vendors.

In a joint technology development venture, Benchmark and Sony Corp.'s Recording Media Company have produced a new, "enhanced" DLT media called ValuSmart Media.

The difference between ValuSmart Media and run-of-the-mill DLT tape, according to Berens, is a smoother tape surface and fewer surface defects.

ValuSmart Media can be used throughout the ValuSmart Tape family, including the DLT1, ValuSmart Tape 80, ValuSmart 640 Blade, and the ValuSmart Tape 160. Both the ValuSmart Tape 160 and ValuSmart Media will be available in later this year.

And to differentiate its tape from the rest of the pack, Benchmark has added a two-tone color scheme to the cartridge's outer shell.

Berens said Benchmark wanted customers to be able to visually identify the ValuSmart tape.

While Sony does have its own tape business based on the Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) format, its Recording Media company, a company spokesperson said that it aims to be a "full media supplier for any available option or solution on the market."

Bob Abraham, president, Freeman Reports Inc., Ojai, Calif., said Benchmark's product line has been on target and the company has seen solid growth in the tape market.

"Benchmark has demonstrated its innovation and responsiveness to market needs since the introduction of its first product, the DLT1, in --> 99," stated Abraham.

Along with the new ValuSmart media, Benchmark is announcing a new roadmap that allows for more than one terabyte of data in a single media cartridge.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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