Quantum Darts to Top of the Tape Heap

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Gracefully streamlined and beautifully proportioned, the mako is the quintessential shark. Staking a claim as the world’s fastest shark, the mako backs up its pure speed with equal doses of power and ferocity – it also happens to be one of the meanest-looking animals on earth.

Quantum unveiled the new “MAKO” PX720 tape library today that the company claims lives up to its namesake. Two years in development, the MAKO can scale up to 20 DLTtape or LTO Ultrium drives and up to 732 slots, and also offers Performance on Demand and Capacity of Demand technology, as well as management and redundancy features at no additional cost.

“MAKO is a system that ensures that enterprise data is protected, available, and accessible at all times and at a lower cost,” says Nancy Marrone-Hurley,
senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “And what’s more, MAKO’s interoperability makes it a solution that can be easily incorporated into an enterprise’s existing infrastructure.”

San Jose, Calif.-based Quantum hopes the MAKO will boost its standing in the tape automation systems market. According to IDC, Quantum finished in a tie for first place in worldwide unit shipments with ADIC in the fourth quarter of 2002. In the midrange market where MAKO will do battle, Quantum was third behind ADIC and Overland.

Gartner, which publishes market share by library size, placed Quantum third in 2002 in DLT/SDLT/LTO automation system shipments with more than 100 cartridges, behind StorageTek and IBM.

MAKO’s competitors – the STK L700e and the ADIC Scalar i2000 – charge extra for redundancy and management while providing only one-third the
scalability, according to Steve Matthews, Quantum’s VP of library systems engineering.

MAKO comes standard with redundant cooling and power systems; library management software that performs enhanced system and component-level monitoring to catch failures before they occur; and robotics that can execute more than three million swaps before failure, which Quantum says is an industry best.

Connectivity options include SCSI, bridged FC, native FC, and gigabit Ethernet. Library partitioning enables MAKO to consolidate several backup environments into one library, and can be configured to appear as multiple smaller libraries to consolidate diverse departmental backup environments into a single tape library.

Quantum says its Performance on Demand technology lets customers increase library performance as needed by adding modular drive clusters containing up
to four tape drives, redundant fans and power with failover capabilities, and built-in management. Capacity on Demand supports the growth of library capacity without unnecessary up-front investment. When requirements grow to exceed the capacity of a single MAKO frame, the company’s CrossLink mechanism lets the library expand to five linked MAKO frames that are centrally managed to support up to 100 tape drives and up to 3660 slots, for a total capacity of 146 TBs.

A 190-slot MAKO enterprise tape library with two super performance tape drives starts at about $93,000, which includes installation services and one year of on-site service and support. By comparison, the STK L700e with 2 super performance drives and 228 slots, with installation and redundant power, costs about $105,000, Quantum says.

Quantum also announced Quantum Marketplace, a new Web-based sales assistance and ordering tool.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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