StorageTek to unveil its fastest tape cartridge, drive

Storage Technology Corp. next week plans to announce a new high-end disk array and the industry's fastest, largest-capacity tape drive, capable of holding 200GB of data with transfer rates of 30M bytes/sec. -- double that of today's drives.

With a 2.2X data compression rate, four of the new drives can transfer 1TB of data per hour.

The high-end drive carries a single-reel tape for high capacity and has a native 2G bit/sec. Fibre Channel interface. All together, the technology drops the per-gigabyte price of tape storage down to 47 cents or .0047 cents per megabyte. Currently, the least expensive disk drives (ATA-attached) cost about 2 cents a megabyte.

"This represents the first tape device on the [National Storage Industry Consortium] tape road map for maintaining a competitive edge against disk aerial density," said Richy Mizrahi, a senior product marketing manager at Louisville, Colo.-based StorageTek.

The T9940B tape cartridges will list for US$99, and the tape drive will list for $39,500.

"This tape drive does the work of two or three midrange tape drives -- backing up multiple servers sequentially throughout the day. This is the tape drive that stands up to that kind of work," Mizrahi said.

StorageTek also plans to announce its latest open-system disk array, the StorageTek D280, which scales from 14 to 224 drives for as much as 32TB of capacity. The array sports full end-to-end 2G bit/sec. Fibre Channel interfaces, runs at 148,000 I/Os per second with 800M byte/sec. throughput rates and currently uses 36GB or 73GB drives.

"We expect to have 146GB drives around November," said Sue Leenerman, a StorageTek senior product marketing manager.

Along with the array, StorageTek will release the D200 Disk Array Controller and SANtricity Storage Manager 8.3 software, which allows management of both entry and Enterprise Disk Subsystem from a single management interface. Logical Unit Numbering (LUN) partitioning allows for maximum utilization of investment by providing the ability to define multiple LUNs within each RAID group.

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