Quantum leaps into branded DLT land

Quantum leaps into branded DLT land

Quantum has launched a line of branded storage tape drives in Australia in response to what the company claims is channel demand.

Traditionally, Quantum had OEM agreements in Asia-Pacific for the past 10 years, but now the company was splashing its own name on the gear.

ANZ’s national country manager, Craig Tamlin, said the OEM link would remain, and would not interfere with the company’s latest branded play.

“The OEM level remains a different target market and, strangely enough, doesn’t meet head-to-head,” Tamlin said.

Resellers can now go into a customer site and offer a full range of branded storage products, including tape drives, media, automation and disk-based back-up systems, along with service and support, director of marketing, Asia-Pacific, Jim Simon, said.

“VARs can get stand alone gear all the way up to the enterprise-class Mako where automation is important,” Simon said.

The latest trio of products – the DLT VS80, DLT VS160 and SDLT 320 – will be offered through Express Data, ACA Pacific and Digital Tape Solutions.

The DLT and SDLT products addressed all areas of the market including entry/low end, mid-range/value, mid-range/super and enterprise/mainframe, product marketing manager, APAC storage solutions group, Mike Sparkes, said.

And while some industry proponents say tape is dead, Quantum executives said the company was on a mission to rev up the market. The standalone tape drive market in Australia was expected to generate $US41 million this year, according to IDC. Worldwide, the market was pegged at $US789 million.

Other tape drive technologies include half-inch, LTO, 8-mm, 4-mm and SLR.

According to IDC, DLT captures 35 per cent of the market.

Sparkes said tape technology had a healthy future because of its low cost, enhanced capacity (is an easily transportable medium), and its long shelf-life.

And while the company said it could hold its own against disc technology, the company strategy saw a combination of disk and tape deployed.

“Quantum sees disk as an enhancement to tape,” Tamlin said.

In a bid to rev up the tape side, the company is expanding its Quantum Alliance channel program – pumping out promotions and reseller training (in-person and web cast) – in the wake of the DLT branded move, channel marketing manager for Asia-Pacific, Julie Spencer, said.

The company worked with about 50 mid-tier resellers and about seven premier partners, but expected the introduction of the branded gear to attract new partners, particularly those targeting the SMB and rural space, Tamlin said.

Although the company had its roots in the enterprise space, it wanted to go after the SMB arena, Sparkes said, and it was in a good position to do so after acquiring technology from Benchmark.

SMB players, in particular, wanted access to product reliability at a low cost, he said.

“The main benefit now is we can offer compatibility right across the range,” he said.

Addressing the hot automation trend, resellers could pitch the DLTsage product – a manageability solution for tape drives and media – that was included with the SuperDLT, Sparkes said.

The technology could determine the drive and media health, and isolate failures and communicates preventative steps, Sparkes said. Offering predictive analysis, the sage manages the overall environment.

“It can report back if the tape needs cleaning and checks on the internal temperature,” he said.

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