Latest Technology in Tape Products.
By Adil Arif
As Robert Frost makes clear in his famous poem, "The Road Not Taken," picking one path over another can make all the difference. While Frost had other topics in mind at the time, his point is nonetheless applicable to today's companies that are using or considering linear tape formats such as DLT, S-DLT and LTO as their data storage solution.
Legacy formats such as Digital Linear Tape (DLT) were a reasonable data storage AITernative in the past, but a combination of new business challenges and new technology choices are driving many companies to rethink their tape storage path. For example, conventional DLT systems are approaching the end of their useful life cycle, with no well-defined way to add capacity without upgrading to a new format. While Super DLT (SOLT) and Linear Tape Open (LTO) systems do have roadmaps to the future, neither format offers a compatible solution that can span the gamut of storage needs, from the entry or workstation level up to the "Super Drive" level. In addition, upgrades require a media change, making long-term use of linear solutions more cumbersome and less flexible.
Perhaps, as Frost suggests, it's time to consider a different path. Advanced Intelligent Tape[TM] (AIT) data storage solutions from Sony provide a broader range of capacities, increased performance, better reliability, easier maintenance and a more strategic path to the future than the AITernatives. Organizations choosing the AIT path will find themselves with a more flexible and integrated tape storage format that can span backup needs from individual PCs, to workgroups, to the enterprise.
AIT is a proven storage technology with years of successful enterprise deployments behind it. First appearing in 1996, AIT is a compact, helical scan 8MM tape format in a 3.5-in., half-height form factor. With its high capacity (up to 100GB per cassette), speed and reliability, AIT is emerging as a more strategic tape storage path compared with linear formats such as DLT, S-DLT and LTO. Consider the following advantages of AIT:
+ Reliability -- Consistent operation and assured reliability are two critical components for a tape storage system. AIT-3 drives are designed for a mean time between failure (MTBF) of up to 400,000 hours (compared with DLT's 250,000 MTBF rating) and a 100% duty cycle.
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