Quantum Corp says it has achieved the next milestone in the delivery of its next generation SuperDLT digital linear tape technology, and sent out the first evaluation units to its OEMs. According to Quantum, the technical claims it has been making for SuperDLT – 100Gb capacity with a minimum transfer rate of 10Mb/sec on uncompressed […]
Quantum Corp says it has achieved the next milestone in the delivery of its next generation SuperDLT digital linear tape technology, and sent out the first evaluation units to its OEMs. According to Quantum, the technical claims it has been making for SuperDLT – 100Gb capacity with a minimum transfer rate of 10Mb/sec on uncompressed data – are now proven. Over the last year or so, competitors such as IBM Corp and the rival Linear Tape Open Consortium have frequently expressed scepticism that Quantum would be able to meet its performance goals.
OEMs can now begin the first stages of design-in for SuperDLT, but will have to wait until the end of the year for the complete product. Quantum is now focusing on the read-write performance of the drives. Volume shipments are expected to begin early next year.
SuperDLT offers backward read compatibility with current DLT 8000, 7000 and 4000 systems, and Quantum is working on providing the same levels of support from independent software and operating system vendors available for its current range of DLTTape products. Over 1.2 million DLT drives and nearly 40 million cartridges have now been sold, and are mostly used for backup and archiving, attached to mid-range servers and high-end workstations. Initial SuperDLT devices, expanding Quantum’s reach to high-end systems, will use Ultra2 and high voltage differential SCSI interfaces, but fibre channel versions are under development and likely to be ready by mid 2000. Quantum says SuperDLT is well positioned among high-end tape systems currently under development, having won a high-level of OEM support early in the development process.
But its main rival looks set to be Linear Tape Open’s Ultrium format, back by four of the largest storage vendors, IBM Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Seagate Technologies Inc and Fujitsu Ltd. That format promises 20Mbps native data transfer rates and similar capacity to SuperDLT, and is at a similar stage of development. Quantum says that Ultrium, based on IBM’s elderly Magstar technology, uses older technology, and won’t remain competitive over the longer term. It says the new technology in SuperDLT, including laser guided magnetic recording, and advanced PRML partial response maximum likelihood technology, will give SuperDLT a full decades worth of increased performance and compatibility with no further substantial technical changes to come. It promises products in the future that offer up to 1Tb capacity and transfer rates of up to 100Mbps. LTO, however, claims that it won’t run out of steam, and has a roadmap stretching to four generations for Ultrium.