Spectra Logic Looks To Low End

Introduced this week, the S50 has room for up to four LTO half-height drives or two LTO-3 full-height drives and up to 50 tape cartridges, said Molly Rector, director of technical marketing at the Boulder, Colo.-based vendor.

Although similar in many respects to the higher-end T50, the new product lacks virtual tape library partitioning and remote monitoring features—making it easier to sell and install into smaller businesses, Rector said.

That simplicity also gives the S50 a lower street price. With one LTO-2 drive and space for 10 tape cartridges, for example, the S50 can be priced less than $9,000—about $750 less than the T50, she said.

Spectra Logic sells its higher-end products directly to a limited number of solution providers. This week It now offers the S50, a smaller AIT-based library and a couple stand-alone tape drives through D&H Distributing, the company&s first distributor.

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“The technical expertise and price point has been a challenge,” said Michael Schwab, vice president of purchasing at the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor. “Spectra Logic has made great strides in these areas.” Schwab added that the S50 could become the first tape library for the vast majority of solution providers.

Chris Walker, managing consultant for storage services at Prosys Information Systems, Norcross, Ga., agrees that the price point could encourage small-business customers to switch from single tape drives. The S50 carries a street price about twice the cost of a single stand-alone LTO-2 tape drive.

“This might be something that could attract them to look at an autoloader or a tape library,” Walker said.