Quantum Steps Up the Tape Wars

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Quantum has added tape storage management features to its DLT (Digital Linear Tape) line as part of an effort to counter the growing popularity of the LTO (Linear Tape Open) format.

DLTSage is an architecture-based suite of predictive and preventive diagnostic tools designed to help customers manage their tape storage environments. DLTSage “is designed to eliminate the guesswork and uncertainties of managing data protection systems by providing the information necessary to better manage, predict, and proactively prevent storage system errors,” Quantum says.

DLTSage lets IT managers know that backups are being completed successfully and that data integrity is uncompromised. If failures occur, they can be identified quickly to speed the system recovery processes, the company says.

“A focus on making data protection more manageable will be a key initiative of companies that wish to be leaders in the future,” says Fara Yale, research vice president at Gartner Dataquest. “Customers are looking for knowledgeable and intelligent offerings that are self-managing and prevention-focused. Self-healing solutions will be pivotal in the next phase of data protection.”

Gartner recently reported that the LTO Ultrium format held a nearly two-to-one tape drive shipment lead over Super DLT in 2002 for the second straight year. More than twice as many LTO tape libraries were shipped in large automation solutions in 2002 than libraries based on DLT/SDLT, according to Gartner.

In a company conference call Tuesday, Quantum reported it has been “holding our own since LTO 2 started shipping. We don’t have the same product advantage
we had before,” but with DLTSage and the new SDLT 600 due out later this year, “we are about to move forward with the next opportunity to gain market

Quantum Takes Storage Management to New Level

DLTSage lets IT personnel develop a complete inventory of drives and media and their associated utilization statistics to ensure the integrity of valuable data, according to Quantum. Preventive maintenance protocols are developed by the intelligent management software, which determines where errors are likely to occur, monitors utilization, and automatically takes corrective measures to ensure the reliability of the tape storage environment.

“Customers looking for greater reliability and better management of their backup and data protection solutions absolutely need to evaluate DLTSage,” says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group. “Quantum is the first company to provide this level of manageability support, and the intuitive software applications are delivering true innovation to the tape market.”

Numerous ISVs, including Arkeia, CommVault Systems, Computer Associates, Legato and VERITAS, have already committed to support DLTSage, reports Quantum.

“As storage managers grapple with growing complexities, they will require increasingly sophisticated diagnostic and management capabilities,” says Gary McGuire, senior vice president of BrightStor solutions at Computer Associates. “The kind of monitoring and alerting provided by DLTSage complements the end-to-end management that CA’s BrightStor Enterprise Backup provides for today’s heterogeneous storage environments, giving managers an extremely robust and reliable data protection solution.”

“Intelligent diagnostics tools like DLTSage that simplify the complexities of tape storage management will resonate among our customers, who want greater control of their data storage environments,” says Larry Cormier, vice president of marketing at CommVault.

Automated tape library providers ADIC, Overland Storage, and Quantum’s Storage Solution Group will also support DLTSage.

“Next-generation storage systems will derive a major part of their value from their ability to gather and analyze data and turn it into action,” says Scott Roza, vice president of North American Storage Products at ADIC.

The initial debut of DLTSage will include the following application agents for managing tape storage within different operating environments:

  • DLTSage xTalk, to provide host-based diagnostics for all operating environments communicating using SCSI, Fibre Channel, and other supported
  • DLTSage iTalk, to communicate with all elements of customer environments with tape drive systems to obtain status information and issue commands via
    infrared (IR) links. A pocket version of DLTSage, iTalk will obtain drive information and send commands using a pocket PC and IR connection
  • DLTSage eTalk, to enable web-based management to be included in future releases to convey drive and media information

The DLTSage suite will ship with all future Super DLTtape solutions at no additional charge, beginning with the SDLT 600 tape drive later this year. DLTSage firmware and software are also currently available to download for existing Super DLT tape products. Additional information can be found at
www.quantum.com/dltsage and www.dltsage.com.

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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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