Tape It to the Limit

Storage solutions come and go, but tape backup is still making its case. Which format is best for your business?

Johns Manville—a Denver-based manufacturer of building materials, in business since 1858—has 52 facilities of varying sizes spread over North America, Europe, and China. With more than $2 billion in annual sales, 9,000 employees, and some 120 servers in its corporate headquarters alone, Johns Manville gives top priority to data backup every night.

Scott Blancett, a manager in the IT department, knew the companys ever-growing backup needs were crying out for a bigger and better solution than the three-year-old StorageTek DLT 8000–based libraries. So Johns Mansville took Hewlett-Packards new second-generation LTO (Linear Tape–Open) product, the HP Ultrium 460e, for a test-drive.

"The backup speed is really tremendous," Blancett says. "Much faster than our old DLT 8000 systems."

This observation made Blancetts decision to replace the companys backup hardware a no-brainer. He wants to buy automated, multitape libraries containing the 460e drives later this year. With these, the company will need fewer machines to do the job.

"Believe it or not," says Blancett, "the cost, including three years of maintenance and support, will come out being less than paying for another three years of support and maintenance on our DLT 8000 machines."