Tandberg Keeps Pace with New LTO-3 Tape Library

The StorageLibrary T40, designed for small and midsize businesses, will put Tandberg head-to-head against the likes of HP and IBM in the midrange tape library market.

Keeping in lock step with its competitors in the midrange tape library market, Tandberg Data has unveiled a competitively priced tape library aimed at small and midsize businesses.

With the introduction of the Tandberg StorageLibrary T40, the Poway, Calif., company joins competitors Exabyte, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and ADIC (Advanced Digital Information Corp.) in continuing to up the ante in the midrange tape library market—a market that experts say will continue to grow over the next several years.

Tandbergs entry, geared toward SMBs, is an LTO-3-based tape library offering up to 32TB in a rack-optimized 4U form factor. The StorageLibrary T40 allows users to start with one LTO-3 drive in a configuration of 24 or 40 slots, and supports both SCSI and Fibre Channel connectivity.

The StorageLibrary T40 uses built-in partitioning to allow the unit to operate with one, two, three or four separate autoloaders, which in turn enables multiple servers to use the same physical library while maintaining control of their allocated resources, said Linda Davis, Tandbergs director of marketing.

Other features include a browser-based remote management interface, allowing administers to monitor, control, configure and perform diagnostics on the system remotely, as well as SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) support, tape alerts, e-mail notification and an audible alarm function.

Although the tape librarys initial capacity is 19TB, the optional Capacity on Demand feature, usually offered in higher-end tape libraries, enables the unit to scale to 32TB.

The Capacity on Demand is one feature that distinguishes Tandbergs midrange tape library from that of its competitors, all of which have similar features, said Bob Abraham, president of Freeman Reports, an Ojai, Calif., storage consultancy.

"Since all of these products are targeting the same market segment and are fairly similar, its important that as vendors introduce new products, they bring something new to the party—some capability, better pricing, better packaging," he said.

In addition to the Capacity on Demand feature, the StorageLibrary T40 is competitively priced in the midrange tape library category, with an MSRP of $9,949—probably the lowest of the major vendors, Abraham said.

One of the reasons Tandberg can price its product so competitively, Davis said, is because unlike most vendors in this category, Tandberg manufactures the drives in its tape libraries.

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"Our goal is to bring libraries with enterprise features and some flexibility built in to the SMB market at an affordable price," she said.

Tandbergs approach is right in line with the rest of the vendors in this segment, Abraham said.

"Its all about making incremental improvements in this fast-growing market," he said.

"I expect the vendors in this market segment to keep introducing new products that keep improving the products in this category." Thats certainly true for Tandberg. Following this months release of the StorageLibrary T40, based on full-height LTO-3 technology, the company plans to introduce another version with its LTO-3 half-height drive next month, Davis said.

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