Tape drive manufacturer Quantum finally announced yesterday the availability of its first backward compatible Super DLT drive, months after it was expected by the market.
Despite the delayed release, the mood was optimistic at the dealer launch of an external and internal model of the new Super DLT 220, according to Quantum's DLT distributors Digital Tape Solutions (DTS) and ACA Pacific.
Quantum missed releasing the product late last year when a new alternative tape technology, Linear Tape Open (LTO) formatted drives, began to hit the streets. But the Super DLT manufacturer is banking on a strong road map and a new laser-guided tracking technology as its trump cards if it comes to a drag race against LTO, claims Todd Clark, worldwide channel marketing manager of the DLTtape Division at Quantum.
In Australia for the launch, Clark claims Quantum's worldwide install base of around 1.5 million drives will also play a big part in the battle against emerging technologies like LTO. "We are confident Super DLT preserves [our customer's] investment," claims Clark.
The product features a native capacity of 110GB, which Clarks says is 10 per cent faster than most first-generation LTO drives. But at a transfer rate of 11MBps it is a shade slower that its 15Mbps LTO counterpart.
Quantum has invested a lot into "ruggedising the product" and, according to Quantum ATL Victorian sales manager Craig Tamlin, it performs to spec. "It would be fair to say that there have been a number of cases I've heard of where LTO doesn't deliver on its marketed spec," adds Tamlin.
Quantum is poised to release another Super DLT product later in the year, a number of re-engineered low-end DLT drives such as a planned DLT 100, and a half-height option for some tape drives by the end of 2001, Quantum officials said.
The Super DLT 220 is expected to retail at around $14,850, according to Quantum, and will backward-read media recorded by its existing DLT 4000 model and above drives.