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StorageTek late last week announced new hardware to help flesh out the company's midrange tape automation offerings. The LTO Ultrium 2 Fibre Channel tape drives (LTO-2), for use in the company's L180, L700, and L5500 tape libraries, will begin shipping under the HP brand this month.
Available from IBM since March with its L-Series tape libraries, LTO-2 offers a number of improvements over its predecessor. Built to compete with Quantum DLT and SuperDLT tape drives, the original LTO Ultrium boasted capacities of 100GB per cartridge and a transfer rate of 15MB/sec.
The new LTO-2 drives feature data storage capacity of 200GB per cartridge. Transfer rates also get a boost up to 55 MB/sec, with a burst data transfer rate of 200 MB/sec. The hardware is also compatible with first-generation LTO tape drives, in addition to some popular models in its L-series tape libraries, easing the migration concerns of existing customers.
Administrators are likely to consider this a compelling feature as they grow their SAN environments. According to Freeman Reports president, Robert Abraham, StorageTek's prominence in the tape storage market hinges on their timely ability to marry advancements in tape technologies with storage hardware already deployed across enterprises.
"We forecast LTO libraries to grow steadily. StorageTek's timely support for the newest LTO technology in its midrange offerings will satisfy the advancing requirements in this rapidly growing segment," he adds.
LTO Ultrium 2 Fibre Channel tape drives cost $18,500 in the L180, L700, and L5500 libraries. Later this month, HP will offer the drives for LTO StorageTek L180 and L700 tape libraries for $17,500.
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