Tape Products Hit High End, Midrange

New high-end, midrange tape products are coming, with a focus on security and reliability.

New high-end and midrange tape products are coming, with a focus on security and reliability.

Spectra Logic Corp., with financial customers as one target audience, is now shipping WORM (write-once, read-many) technology in AIT devices. Meanwhile, Imation Corp. has improved its capacity and signal-to-noise ratio in LTO units.

The developments follow recent overall format upgrades of both Advanced Intelligent Tape and Linear Tape-Open.

Spectra Logic put the WORM firmware in its AIT-3 media and drives, both from Sony Electronics Inc., in San Jose, Calif. Its also in the library software. "Probably we will go back and certify AIT-2 as well, within the next three to four months," said Sharon Isaacson, a Spectra Logic product manager, in Boulder, Colo. Shipping now, the new tapes cost $115, versus $100 for the non-WORM models, she said.

Spectra Logic doesnt provide any tools for users to migrate data from the old tapes to the new, but does offer professional services for such tasks, she said.

Officials of Redmond, Wash., competitor Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) said their WORM support is likely six months away. Qualstar Corp. began shipping WORM last month, a spokesman said, Simi Valley, Calif.

For its part, Imation Corp.s second-generation LTO media will ship next month, said Suarin Shah, director of advanced technology and applications. The new tapes hold 200GB of data transferred at up to 40GBps, with double of those specifications if the data is compressed.

The tapes have a slightly improved signal-to-noise ratio of 26:1, measured in decibels, versus 25:1 in the first-generation units, Shah said. They also have 512Kb per inch, versus 384Kbpi in the older version, he said.

Pricing for the new tapes, called Black Watch Ultrium, has not yet been set but is expected to be slightly higher than the former version, which currently cost about $70 each, officials said.