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Exabyte® Announces Third-Generation VXA® Packet Tape Drive

  • 05 October, 2005 12:44

<p>VXA Continues Strong Growth in SMB and Departmental Markets Due to
Superior Restore Integrity, Performance, and Automation Support</p>
<p>Sydney, Australia - October 5, 2005 -- Exabyte Corporation (OTCBB: EXBT), a leading innovator in tape backup, restore, and archival systems, today announced the release of the third-generation VXA® Packet Tape Drive, called VXA-320. VXA-320 dramatically increases the capacity and performance available to tape users and those seeking an alternative to aging DDS technology at affordable pricing. VXA-320 products offer the added benefits of award-winning VXA Packet Technology and compatibility with the prior generation of VXA. Shipments to select channel and OEM customers began in September. Products are available immediately through Exabyte’s worldwide network of VARs and distributors.</p>
<p>VXA’s third generation products include the VXA-320 Packet Drive, which records up to 320 GB* to a single cartridge at a data transfer rate of up to 24 MB/sec.* compressed, and the VXA-320 PacketLoader 1x10, a full-featured, sleek 1U autoloader with 10 cartridge slots offering up to 3.2 TB of capacity, plus a bar code reader and Ethernet port for remote management – both standard. Further, VXA-320 delivers four times the data rate and more than four times the storage capacity of the current DDS platform (DAT 72), and is still affordably priced for the SMB market.</p>
<p>“SMB and departmental customers need high capacity, low-cost tape products for safeguarding and archiving their critical data” said Robert Amatruda, research manager at IDC. “Exabyte’s VXA-320 tape drive addresses their needs with a very cost-competitive tape drive.”</p>
<p>VXA-320 is ideally suited to replace DDS/DAT as users outgrow the limited capacity and performance of the older format. The maximum native capacity of a DAT 72 drive is only 36GB and is inadequate to meet the backup requirements of the most common SMB/departmental servers shipping today.</p>
<p>“Our OEM partners tell us that the majority of servers sold today ship with well above 100 GB of hard disk capacity,” Ward added. “This presents a dilemma for end users trying to back up servers with DDS or DAT drives with only 20 GB or 36 GB tapes. Not only is this not practical, but it undermines the safety of their data protection strategy. With 160 GB of native capacity, VXA-320 solves this ‘capacity gap’ problem.”</p>
<p>With third-generation VXA Packet Technology, VXA Packet drives and autoloaders read and write data in digital packets, like the Internet, enabling far superior restore integrity, exceptional transfer speeds and significantly higher capacity. VXA Packet Technology’s superior reliability has been repeatedly demonstrated through extensive disaster-testing by third-party labs. In addition to its capacity and speed advantages, VXA-320 offers the following additional benefits to IT managers:</p>
<p> VXA Packet drives, autoloaders and cartridges are the only tape storage products with VXA Packet Technology that enables a 4-level Reed-Solomon Error Correction Code (ECC), making data 180 times more likely to restore than competitive tape formats – even from a damaged tape.</p>
<p> Over three successive generations, VXA products have been disaster-tested by Exabyte and independent labs under the most severe conditions – including violent vibration, immersion in volcanic dust, boiling water and hot coffee, and even freezing cartridges in ice – to assure reliable and complete data restores.</p>
<p> VXA-320 delivers full read and write compatibility with VXA’s second generation, protecting the investment of users who have already stepped up to the VXA platform. In fact, with VXA-320, customers can use their same VXA-2 tapes and immediately realise twice the capacity.</p>
<p> Only VXA offers three different cartridge sizes (320/160/80 GB), providing users the flexibility to choose the capacity that best meets their current storage and budget needs and giving VXA-320 users a clear price-per-gigabyte advantage over the DDS/DAT format.</p>
<p> All VXA Packet Drives are ideal for the rigors of automation because of the benefits of Packet Technology. This brings to market a unique new class of highly reliable and highly affordable SMB tape automation. (Please see IDC report at</p>
<p>“VXA has experienced remarkable growth, averaging double-digit percentage quarter-over-quarter sales increases since 2003 and an 86% increase in unit shipments in 2004,” said Tom Ward, president and CEO, Exabyte. “With the release of our third-generation products, VXA-320’s capacity and speed is now two full generations ahead of DDS – with the added reliability benefits of VXA Packet Technology. With our close relationships with major OEMs, and our worldwide network of VARs at 2,500 and growing, we expect the strong adoption trend to continue.”</p>
<p>VXA-320 is compatible with all major backup software vendors, and with three interface options (Ultra2 Wide SCSI available immediately; SAS and FireWire available Q2 of 2006), VXA-320 provides support for a wide range of computing platforms and operating systems. All VXA-320 products come with a three-year ADEX as part of Exabyte’s standard warranty and support program.</p>
<p>VXA-320 Packet Drive, priced at A$1,669 (street price including tax), and the VXA-320 PacketLoader 1x10, priced at A$3,999 (street price including tax) are available immediately through Exabyte’s Australian and New Zealand distribution and reseller networks. VXA Packet Technology products are engineered and manufactured by Exabyte, the leading innovator in tape backup technology for the past 20 years. For more information on Exabyte products or to find a reseller in your area, visit</p>
<p>About VXA Packet Technology</p>
<p>Exabyte’s award-winning VXA Packet Technology is the most significant advancement in tape storage technology in the last decade. VXA Packet Tape products offer a unique combination of greater capacity, faster data transfer rates and dramatically superior data reliability than other tape formats in its class, all at comparable prices. VXA Packet Technology, available only from Exabyte, offers far superior data reliability than any other tape technology, enabled by its innovative read/write “packet” architecture – disaster-tested to provide 100 percent data restore.</p>
<p>VXA Packet Technology provides a digital solution to the long-standing mechanical problem of head-to-tape alignment – a common issue with conventional tape storage products that causes data restore operations to fail. With VXA’s award-winning Packet Technology, VXA Packet Drives write and read data in individually addressed “packets,” accomplished by sweeping the entire face of the tape rather than the conventional method of sequentially tracing every tiny track embedded on the tape. During the read duty cycle, discreet data packets are dynamically gathered and reassembled in the VXA buffer, similar to the manner in which data is reassembled via the Internet, resulting in dramatically increased data reliability. VXA Packet Technology eliminates the need for highly machined components to maintain tight tolerances within the drive, resulting in much greater capacity, speed and reliability at a lower cost.</p>
<p>With VXA, customers can select the drive generation and cartridge capacity to meet their current need and budget – all with the benefits of VXA Packet Technology. Also, VXA’s published roadmap currently extends through four successive generations, consistently doubling capacity and speed every two years while holding pricing level and maintaining backward compatibility, thus ensuring long-term protection of users’ investments in drives and media. VXA Packet Drives are also available in Exabyte’s rugged and robust autoloaders, designed to meet customers growing demand for the efficiency and convenience of automation. VXA Packet Drives have now been selected by many OEMs, including IBM, Apple, Fujitsu Siemens, and Fujitsu Ltd., providing a definitive endorsement of the VXA platform as the new standard for tape storage in its class.</p>
<p>About Exabyte Corporation</p>
<p>Exabyte Corporation (OTCBB: EXBT) is the leading innovator and provider of tape storage. For over 20 years, the company has been recognised for its innovative engineering approach and for consistently raising industry standards in technology, quality and data reliability for tape drives and tape automation. The Company’s products back up and restore critical business information in a manner consistently ahead of its competitors in terms of capacity, transfer speeds, and reliability at competitive prices. Exabyte has a worldwide network of OEMs, distributors and resellers that share the company's commitment to innovation and customer service, including IBM, Apple, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Fujitsu Ltd., Imation, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Insight, and CDW. For more information, visit</p>
<p>*Data capacities and transfer rates assume a compression ratio of two-to-one. Actual compression will vary depending on the nature of the data and the drive and media quality. Exabyte and VXA are registered trademarks, and ExaBotics is a trademark of Exabyte Corp.</p>
<p>Media Contact:</p>
<p>Rob Stirling
Markom Marketing Pty Ltd
+61 2 9977 8922</p>
<p>Richard Giddey
Exabyte Corporation
+61 2 9929 9770</p>

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