Storage Technology Corp originally made its name with high quality tape technology before it developed delusions of grandeur and began to believe its own publicity. Once it decided that it could take IBM on on all fronts, not only in tape and disk drives and high-speed impact and (bought in) non-impact printers, but also with […]
Storage Technology Corp originally made its name with high quality tape technology before it developed delusions of grandeur and began to believe its own publicity. Once it decided that it could take IBM on on all fronts, not only in tape and disk drives and high-speed impact and (bought in) non-impact printers, but also with an IBM-compatible processor of its own design, and with a line of erasable optical disk drives, it thoroughly deserved the soubriquet the Louisville Lip, even though it hails from Louisville in Colorado and not from the eponymous town in Kentucky. A Chapter XI bankruptcy filing and a wholesale change of management later, a very chastened Storage Technology has emerged from the bankruptcy courts vowing to dedicate itself to what it always did best: develop and market tape storage devices that were good enough to keep IBM users very happy, and IBM itself looking over its shoulder. And the company is not letting the sparse Colorado grass grow under its feet – it is constantly improving its answers to IBM’s 3480, and looking for new markets for the product line. Multiple Domain Feature One such development is to extend the 4480 Cartridge Subsystem so that it now supports up to eight host channels, a development it regards as increasingly necessary with the acceptance of what it describes as the successful Amdahl Multiple Domain Feature, which IBM had to match with its own Processor Resource/System Manager or PR/SM. The two facilities, and one announced by Hitachi’s resellers, enable one physical processor to be divided into several independent logical processor partitions, each of which is likely to make heavy demands on the channels. The new enhancement follows StorageTek’s addition in May last year of support for 4.5Mbyte-per-second channels, a 4Mb cache unit for the tape subsystem, and a proprietary Velocity Option feature to decrease the time required for tape rewind and high-speed search operations. The company has is still hard at work on a response to IBM’s statement of direction on increased cartridge capacity and performance. The control unit that will support up to eight host channels should be ready for delivery in the third quarter of this year, and pricing be as for the existing models – the cost for the additional channels five to eight will be the same as for channels two to four, that is to say at $5,040 per channel interface.
It has also announced its first implementation of the 4400 Automated Cartridge System that supports multiple dissimilar hosts as well as IBM 370-type ones. With the Storage Server, the Cartridge System will be configured with a control processor to manage requests for tape library operations, and initially, support is for Unisys OS 1100 hosts. As with the IBM system, no changes will be needed in application job streams for Unisys processors to access the library. Users will need two new programs, a $10,000 Common Library Service on the control processor, and a $15,000 Client Software Component on each Unisys OS 1100 processor. Availability of the software is set for fourth quarter 1989. The company is also now offering a Cartlib program that enables its 4780 18-track tape subsystems to be link to OS 1100 as well as to IBM hosts. Cartlib supports the Unisys Cartis software and arrives next month at an initial licence of $9,000.