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Tape storage changes

In many of my previous articles I talked mainly about disk storage devices and the possibilities of using them in developing a Storage Area Network (SAN) for a firm. But along with new technology in the disk storage area, technologies used in other storage products have developed. One of these is tape storages.
The development of new, more efficient technologies, that bring increasing reliability, access and the possibilities of connecting tape storages to heterogeneous platforms, has come about as a result of a boom in data volume in ERP, BI, and e-Business applications.

In many of my previous articles I talked mainly about disk storage devices and the possibilities of using them in developing a Storage Area Network (SAN) for a firm. But along with new technology in the disk storage area, technologies used in other storage products have developed. One of these is tape storages.

The development of new, more efficient technologies, that bring increasing reliability, access and the possibilities of connecting tape storages to heterogeneous platforms, has come about as a result of a boom in data volume in ERP, BI, and e-Business applications.

It has also been a result of the continuing process of the rise in users' data security requirements and a necessity to shorten recovery time for production systems after failures. These new technologies deal with data stores (loading) to tape storage itself.

There are currently, regarding upgrading backup mechanisms, two main evolution trends. Three years ago the biggest corporations in tape storage decided to pool their strengths. As a consortium IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Seagate have started to develop new recording technology for the tape storage device - technology called Linear Tape Open (LTO).

In brief, this technology, apart from increasing safety in data recovery, tape capacity (first generation has capacity 100 MB compressed [packed]) and speed in data transmission (first generation 10-20 MB/s in native regime) brings a new access form for creating a new open standard in tape technology.

But what does it mean in practice? The standards for format data have been defined, as well as size, parameters, tape capacity, backup medium type, connectivity of these devices to open systems and to Net Server Platforms.

Four generations have been defined in a product roadmap, which guarantees a doubling of capacity and transfer speed every 18-24 months. At the same time echo backup equipment compatibility has been guaranteed among individual generations and the possibility to interchange mediums among LTO drivers Corporations.

The second important developing trend in backup tape equipment is the upgrading of actual DLT technology known as Super DLT. This technology is still in the process of development.

The tape storage market can be divided into two main categories. In the first are customers using non-automated tape systems, i.e. pure tape units internally or externally connected to servers. The second includes those using compact automated tape systems.

In both market segments traditional 4mm DAT and DLT tape units dominate.

Today, LTO-based products are capable of covering both of the mentioned market segments, but considering the contemporary price level of LTO products, they are mainly competitive with backup units working on the basis of DLT technology. LTO tape devices are on the world market today and are available for all network servers' operating systems.

Super DLT technology is in the laboratory stage so far and after its introduction on the market, the guaranties mentioned above are still for the benefit of LTO.

In conclusion we can observe that the new, powerful, reliable, and at the same time prospective, data storage technology is on the market.

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