Maxtor Serves Up New ATA Drives

New server drives are tailored for enterprise uses.

Maxtor Corp. on Monday announced new server drives, on the heels of exiting the network-attached storage niche and launching new desktop-class drives last week.

The new MaXLine series features ATA drives tailored for enterprise uses. ATA drives, traditionally considered to be consumer-class, have recently begun finding their way into business-class products from such vendors as EMC Corp.

Initially, there are two products in the series. MaXLine II has 320GB capacity and spins at 5,400 rpm, for $349.95. MaXLine Plus II has 250GB at 7,200 rpm, for $349.95. Both will ship later this year.

If hard-drive vendors want business storage vendors to take their products seriously, theyll have to do high-end testing that hasnt previously been done on ATA drives, said Dave Reinsel, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Hutchinson, Minn.

One example is to conduct the high-end, mean-time-between-failure tests instead of the low-end, stop-start tests, he said. Another test is to ensure debris in servers doesnt end up on the drives read/write heads, he said.

"Theres a long learning curve. Its going to take a while" for ATA to gain enterprise market share, Reinsel said.

Maxtor this week will also announce the Atlas 15K and Atlas 10K IV server drives, with capacities of 73GB and 147GB, respectively. The drives use the Ultra320 SCSI interface; the 15K and 10K designations refer to the disk platters rpm. Pricing for those was not available. Both will ship early next year.

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