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StorageTek offers tape drive with FC capability

StorageTek has its sights set on SAN backup. Its new T9940B tape drive is slated to hit the market with a 200G byte cartridge capacity and 30M bit/sec throughput.

There's a new tape drive on the block that Storage Technology Corp., Louisville, Colo., is betting can go the distance against any challenging tape technology.

The new T9940B tape drive is designed for collecting, moving and storing large volumes of data through its 30M bit/sec native data transfer rate and 200G byte cartridge capacity.

The T9940B, a bigger, faster version of StorageTek's T9840B drive, features a 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel interface for SAN support without the need for an additional adapter device for a price of 47 cents per gigabyte.

Robert Amatruda, research manager for International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass., said the T9940B is impressive in its sheer capacity and native performance but that there is a drawback.

"It's addressing backup and data protection in open systems and midrange customer environments, especially where consolidations are happening," he said. "But the downside is it's still a pretty costly drive and solution integrated into the library."

From a cost standpoint, he said, there are customers that will opt for the Linear Tape-Open Ultrium 2 or SuperDLT tape format.

But Amatruda added that the T9940B will initially find a home in the environments of StorageTek's existing customers, who are looking to protect their legacy investments.

"It's not always about speeds and feeds; it's about what technologies customers have invested in from a legacy standpoint," he said.

Richy Mizrahi, StorageTek's senior product marketing manager for automated tape tolutions, said that while a comparison can be made between the T9940B and LTO Ultrium 2, the products were designed for different applications and markets.

Mizrahi said the first version drive was adopted heavily in the scientific community, where the users did not trust their data on midrange tape. Now, he said, the T9940B is targeted at that same segment, as well as the open systems arena.

"The idea of high duty cycle allows for efficient use in SAN environments," he said. "SAN backup is very hard on midrange tape."

According to Mizrahi, a more accurate comparison can be made between the T9940B and IBM's Magstar 3590H tape drives.

Products from Computer Associates Inc., Emulex Corp., JNI Corp., Legato Systems Inc., Qlogic Corp., IBM's Tivoli and Veritas Software Corp. interoperate with the StorageTek drive.

The T9940B tape drive with the native 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel interface is priced at $39,500.

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


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