HP First to Market with Second-generation Ultrium Drives

HP yesterday announced that it is delivering qualification units of its second-generation StorageWorks LTO Ultrium tape drive to six of its key OEM system and library partners worldwide. According to HP this makes them the first vendor to provide partners with second-generation Ultrium qualification units, which will be used for product integration and manufacturing processes, and it expects to begin shipments to customers by the end of the year.

“As part of our commitment to open standards, this 200 gigabyte native capacity tape drive builds on the success of the first-generation StorageWorks Ultrium drives,” said Frank Harbist, vice president, Nearline Products, HP Network Storage Solutions. “With our next-generation drives, we’re now providing more capacity than any other tape drive available, with the high levels of performance and reliability our customers have come to expect from HP.”

HP says that the second generation of Ultrium sets a new standard for capacity and offers a transfer rate unmatched by competing technologies, allowing customers to store 400 GB of compressed data on a single cartridge in less than two hours.

“During our evaluation of the second-generation HP Ultrium drives, we saw an exciting leap in performance, which we in turn are thrilled to be able to offer our customers,” said Robert Scroop, vice president and general manager, Hardware Business Unit, Overland Storage.

“Our relationship with HP is an important aspect of making sure customers have access to a full range of technology choices when they purchase industry-leading libraries and storage solutions,” said Steve Reichwein, product line manager, enterprise systems, Quantum Storage Solutions Group. “At Quantum, our goal is to continue our leadership in providing customers the automated solutions to meet their evolving storage needs.”

“Being first to market with the second-generation Ultrium drives to our partners is a milestone in the execution of the open standard we are driving toward,” said Harbist. “With this announcement, HP is clearly positioned to deliver next-generation Ultrium tape drives that will permit StorageWorks customers to enjoy the significant advantages of this exceptionally reliable, high-performance tape technology before the end of the year.”

According to Gartner Dataquest, LTO drives led tape shipments in 2001, with a 70 percent share, in contrast to 30 percent share held by Super DLTtape.

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