Hewlett-Packard and Certance, two of the top manufacturers of DAT technology, announced this week a long-term commitment to the technology through 2010 and three future product generations.
The commitment is important because it means that current users of DAT technology will have their investment protected, said Fara Yale, research vice president at Gartner. That is particularly true of SMB (small and midsize business) users, said Yale. "These customers are also extremely price-conscious and select storage solutions, including tape drives and media, that meet their budget. Tape remains a sustainable and cost-effective way for SMBs to store information," said Yale.
According to the DAT Manufacturers' Group, future DAT product generations will feature backwards compatibility to protect customers' existing digital data storage/DAT technology investments and higher capacity and performance to meet growing backup and restore requirements.
The technology is currently in its fifth generation, DAT72, which has a compressed capacity per cartridge of 72GB and a transfer rate of as much as 7MBps. The extended road map calls for performance and capacity increases of as much as 600GB compressed capacities per cartridge and transfer rates of as much as 32MBps. Last year nearly 1 million DAT units were shipped.