Sun and Imation Unite to Push Tape Technology

Sun Microsystems and Imation will work together to integrate disk-based media into Sun's tape libraries.

Sun Microsystems and Imation expanded their storage media relationship on Feb. 1 by announcing plans to jointly develop new tape cartridge technology and work on the integration of portable disk-based media into Suns StorageTek tape library.

As part of the joint agreement between the two companies related to current and future product development, Sun and Imation will expand Suns StorageTek T9840 drive platform roadmap with a new fast-access tape drive media product.

The T9840 features twin spool technology to speed up access time to tape, according to Tom Maiorano, director of Worldwide Tape Media Business for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun.

Imation helped develop the media for Suns T10000 enterprise-class tape drive launched last November. Once the drive ships—expected to be in the next few months—it will feature 500GB capacity. Maiorano said that a 1TB version of the T10000 is set for availability near the end of 2007.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about Suns T10000 enterprise tape drive.

Sun acquired StorageTek (Storage Technology), along with its storage, tape media and tape library products, last July for $4.1 billion in an all-cash transaction.

Sun and Imation will investigate alternative recording media, in particular examining the potential of merging Imations Ulysses technology into Suns StorageTek automated tape library product portfolio.

The benefit for customers could translate into a faster recovery times and a 100GB ATA 2.5-inch disk to be used as a tape drive emulator, or a portable disk-based product within a tape library without requiring any configuration.

Moriano said Sun is trying to determine if such a product would appeal to a large segment of its audience.

Both companies said that Imation has become an approved supplier of Sun StorageTek branded LTO-2 and LTO-3 tape media cartridges.

The move gives Sun dual suppliers in the LTO space with Imation joining Fuji Photo Film USA, which also is an authorized supplier of the T10000 media.

Sun this week was also part of an expanded relationship announcement with data migration software provider Softek Storage Solutions.

As part of the deal, Sun and its reseller partners will be able to deploy and run Sun StorageTek mainframe and open systems attached storage arrays utilizing Softek technology.

This approach aims to perform the migrations without impacting customer applications during the procedure.

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