New linear tape format doubles library space

New linear tape format doubles library space

High-end storage density and data throughput available in midrange systems

By Patricia Daukantas


A new high-density tape format, Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Ultrium, will give midrange systems the storage density and data throughput previously found in high-end mainframe storage.


LTO Ultrium cartridges sit atop a Scalar 100/LTO, ADIC's midsize tape library.



Stephen Whitner, director of marketing for Advanced Digital Information Corp. of Redmond, Wash., said ADIC has updated its tape libraries to accommodate LTO Ultrium tapes.

IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Seagate Technology Inc. of Scotts Valley, Calif., jointly developed the LTO technology. They sought a highly reliable, physically small cartridge that would last about 10 years in midsize storage setups, Whitner said.

The LTO tape standards are Accelis, a dual-hub, fast-access tape, and Ultrium, a single-hub, high-capacity variety. Both formats share some common components, but the cassettes are not interchangeable.

In native, uncompressed mode, LTO Ultrium tapes store 100G per cartridge and have a peak throughput of 15 megabytes/sec, Whitner said. Both those figures double under 2-1 data compression rate.

Going with Big Blue

ADIC, which doesn't make tape drives, is using IBM drives in its LTO Ultrium libraries, Whitner said. Smallest in the ADIC LTO Ultrium line is the FastStor/LTO seven-tape autoloader, which can back up 108G per hour, he said. With 2-1 compression, the unit can hold 1.4T.



ADIC's tape libraries now accommodate the LTO Ultrium format, sized for terabyte-to-petabyte storage.


The Scalar 100/LTO, ADIC's midsize library, accepts one to six LTO Ultrium drives and up to 72 cartridges, for a maximum of 14.4T compressed storage. The library is 14U, or 24.5 inches, tall and packs in 1T per 1.75-inch rack unit, Whitner said.

'We made it a dense library with older tapes. With LTO it's just astonishing,' Whitner said.

The Scalar 1000/LTO, ADIC's data center-sized library, holds 140 to 938 tapes and up to 48 drives. Its maximum sustained throughput is 5.2 terabytes per hour, Whitner said.

ADIC's biggest tape storehouse, the Automated Mixed-media Library, can scale up to 51,840 LTO Ultrium tapes and 400 drives. With 2-1 compression, that would amount to 10 petabytes, Whitner said. The huge library supports mixed media, including optical storage devices.

Estimated price is about $11,000 for the FastStor/LTO. The Scalar 100/LTO starts at $20,000 and the Scalar 1000/LTO around $60,000.

Libraries are custom-built, but prices start around $250,000 for a full-size model.

Contact ADIC at 800-336-1233.

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