SuperLoader Takes Quantum Leap in Autoloader Capacity

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2001-11-13

LAS VEGAS—Quantum Corp. on Tuesday unveiled an automated storage tape device that executives said offers five times the capacity of other 2U autoloaders and comes with better management capabilities.

The 16-cartridge Quantum SuperLoader also comes in a modular design for fast configuration and upgrades and a "mail slot" that enables businesses to install or remove cartridges on the fly without having to bring the system down.

"This provides an automated process," said Any Grolnick, vice president of marketing for the Milpitas, Calif., companys DLTtape Drive and Autoloader Division. "One of the biggest costs of [storage] backup is that you need someone to set the software up, someone to come in and put the cartridge in, someone to take the cartridge out. An autoloader takes a lot of this out of the equation."

The system is particularly useful to businesses that require high-speed tape backup but are faced with space constraints, limited backup time or few personnel resources.

Among the key features of the new product, which will reach end users by the end of the first quarter of 2002, are a rack-mountable 2U form factor—about 3.5 inches high—that better utilizes space and a capacity for up to 3.5 terabytes. It also comes with Web-based integrated management tools and includes both SCSI and Ethernet ports, the latter of which enables administrators to manage the devices remotely through a Web browser, Grolnick said.

The modular configuration of the SuperLoader allows for quick servicing or upgrading of the tape drive, power supply, cooling and interfaces, which are contained in a single module. Also, all 16-cartridge storage slots are contained in two removable, eight-cartridge magazines that are easily removed and allow for companies to start at an entry level and upgrade as demands dictate.

Its also an agnostic device that can be incorporated into an enterprises existing storage system.

A key to keeping the size manageable is a handling system in which the cartridges are brought to the robotic handling tool, rather than having a robotic tool with an arm that has to reach out for cartridges, said Grolnick.

Initially, the SuperLoader system will be available with either a Quantum SDLT 220 or DLT1 tape drive.

Grolnick would not elaborate on pricing, but said it would be comparable with other autoloader devices, which typically come in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

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