Imation Launches RFID-Based Cartridge Tracking System

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-03-12 Print this article Print

The company claims the new tape tracking system is the world's first system to monitor and track the inventory location of in-transit data center tape cartridges using radio frequency identification.

Removable storage media maker Imation introduced a first-of-its-kind data storage tracking system March 12 using radio frequency identification tags so data center managers can more efficiently track the location of data cartridges within their own inventory. The new DataGuard rf Tape Tracking System is designed to help account for the inventory location of all cartridges. The system incorporates a passive RFID tag integrated into a standard tape cartridge volser label; each cartridge in the selected library is fitted with these unique, integrated labels.
As cartridges are checked in and out of a location, a reader system (stationary or handheld mobile device) quickly reads the integrated RFID tag and volser label either individually or within a cartridge carrying case. The reader system workstation automatically encrypts and posts the label information to the selected system software, which interfaces with the customers own traffic management system.
At a time when sensitivities around misplaced data are at all-time highs, this new tracking system increases the reliability of a companys inventory and more efficiently manages overall storage processes in the face of increasing and challenging compliance requirements, a company spokesperson said. The cartridges—or case of cartridges—are then tracked via Imation partner B&L Associates VaultLedger or Vertices software. The DataGuard rf system provides list and audit reporting capabilities, the spokesperson said. "On average, an organization backs up multiple terabytes of data to tape every week, if not every day," said Dianne McAdam, director of enterprise information assurance for The Clipper Group in Wellesley, Mass. "Disaster recovery preparedness and compliance remain high priorities for IT, making the ability to track a tape cartridges whereabouts even more important to data center managers. Imations ground-breaking DataGuard rf tape tracking system will help ensure data centers are able to reliably account for their tape cartridges." Pressure Increasing on Data Center Managers The essential role of tape in the data center hasnt changed, but what has changed is the increasing pressure on data center managers, for reasons of compliance and governance, to be able to locate and retrieve data quickly, said James Milligan, general manager for Imations Commercial/OEM Division, in Oakdale, Minn. "Todays more stringent information security and financial compliance laws, as well as audit requirements, are driving organizations to examine their processes for managing these assets," Milligan said. "In some cases, organizations are required to publicly disclose data loss or theft, which often results in negative exposure." Intel joined the ranks of companies that found itself in hot water recently when it couldnt locate a number of e-mails that are considered relevant to a lawsuit involving its No. 1 marketplace rival, Advanced Micro Devices. Click here to read more about Intels e-mail retention problems. Later this year, Imation also expects to introduce additional functionality for the DataGuard rf system, including AGPS (assisted global positioning system) enabling of the DataGuard Transport and Storage Case, which will allow users to track the location of cases using cellular and GPS technology, the spokesperson said. Imations DataGuard rf tape tracking system will be generally available in April, the spokesperson said. Pricing information was not available at this time. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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