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ADIC's flagship library gets robotics boost

ADIC made its massive automated tape library faster and fatter last week when it unveiled a "dual-aisle" version of its Scalar 10K library.

Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) made its massive automated tape library faster and fatter last week when the Redmond, Wash.-based company unveiled a "dual-aisle" or two-robot version of its Scalar 10K library. ADIC made the system to provide ongoing access to stored data through any service operation and boosted its capacity by about 45%.

The new Scalar 10K provides a storage capacity of more than 22,000 tape positions along with full dual redundancy for robotics, power systems and main library controllers, ADIC said.

The dual-redundant design means that the library can remain operational with continued access to user data through all normal service procedures, as well as through system or power fault conditions. The library's capacity provides almost 6 petabytes (PB) of storage with normal compression. ADIC said both of the robotics systems can be active at the same time.

Peter Gerr, research analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., based in Milford, Mass., said the redundant robot would offer a higher level of system resiliency and potential performance because they have independent control systems.

Gerr said ADIC's tape platform will find more and more homes inside enterprises that are struggling with storing, retaining and managing mountains of data. "[It] also provides a resilient, high-performance, flexible and modular repository that can start small and grow to 3-to-6PB of archival information as the user needs it."

However, there is a catch to having twice the robot power. ADIC said the dual aisle 10K starts at $320,000, approximately double the list price today for a single aisle model.

A second robot isn't all that's in store for the Scalar 10K. ADIC is planning a total architecture redesign of its entire library family based on iPlatform, an architecture that is said to bring external functions inside the system.

Last month the company announced the Scalar i2000, the first library to use iPlatform, which integrates backup management functions, reducing the need for external applications, equipment and management activities.

"We're rolling over our whole approach as to how we do libraries," said Steve Whitner, ADIC's product marketing manager. "We've also linked everything inside with a different kind of communications network, which lets us bring more functions inside," he said.

He added that, in the past, ADIC's libraries required applications running on external servers. "The whole idea is to automate the whole thing. This is far and away more advanced than anything that we've ever done," Whitner said.

The iPlatform architecture is designed to allow easy extension of the library's connectivity to support other storage network transports and protocols, including Gigabit Ethernet.

Gerr said he was "impressed" by the iPlatform technology. Specifically the flexibility of drive and media types, the ability to offer capacity-on-demand and the ability to scale modularly.

The Scalar 10K offers up to 624 tape drives and up to 22,938 cartridge positions with support for LTO, Super DLT, 3590 and AIT technologies in single or mixed-media configurations.

Dual-aisle Scalar 10K libraries will be available from authorized ADIC channel partners beginning in May.

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

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