Quantum DLTSage Diagnoses Problems With Media, Drives

If a drive or tape failure occurs, the DLTSage architecture automatically runs a diagnostic application to find where the exact problem is and passes the information to the application's console or to the management console of third-party storage management software, said Steven Berens, senior director of product marketing and strategy at Quantum, San Jose, Calif..

DLTSage alerts users to potential problems with drives and media and also provides information to help them understand and control how tape drives are used throughout the company, Berens said.

"In the traditional tape environment, if a backup fails, the user typically tries again, which is frustrating," he said. "If it works the second time, it is more frustrating because they don't know whether there was a problem or not."

The information can be passed to administrators in multiple ways, Berens said. Using the iTalk application, a PDA with DLTSage software can gather information about a specific drive via the drive's infrared interface just by pressing a button. The xTalk app enables a host to talk to a drive over Fibre Channel or SCSI connections. The eTalk application allows drives to be queried via a Web browser. Administrators can also gather information via a serial port, he said.

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Hope Hayes, president of Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, said, "Now we can have the customer find the problem so we can tell them what to do or we can handle it or have the customer pass the information to someone else."

While some clients are savvy enough to swap tapes to isolate a backup problem, others are not, Hayes said. "With DLTSage, we can tell them what to do,to download this or try that."

DLTSage xTalk and iTalk are currently available for use with Quantum's entire SDLTtape drive family, including the SDLT 600, set to ship this month, Berens said. Many, but not all, of the features of xTalk and iTalk also work with the company's DLT 4000 and higher drives. ETalk is available for SDLT drives, while xTalk is expected to be available for Quantum's VS160 and VS80 in the next 12 to 18 months, he said.