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Spectra Logic Rolls Out New Tape Library, Portable Disk Technology

Spectra Logic is moving in two different directions with new storage products rolled out in the past few weeks.

Spectra Logic unveiled the Spectra T120, a new entry-level version of its tape library aimed at helping boost the company's midrange market offerings.

The company followed up with the release of its RAID Exchangeable TeraPack (RXT), portable disk technology which allows a RAID array to be made up of removable hard drives.

The Spectra T120 tape library offers many of the capabilities found in the company's Spectra T950, which can handle up to 1,000 cartridges in a single frame, The T120 can be configured with up to six LTO-2 or SAIT tape drives and 120 tape cartridges in a 14-U rack-mount chassis, said Sharon Isaacson, senior product manager at the Boulder, Colo.-based company.

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Spectra Logic's T120 can be configured with up to six LTO-2 or SAIT tape drives and up to 120 tape cartridges.

One T120 can be carved into LTO-2 and SAIT virtual libraries with a mix of Fibre Channel, SCSI and iSCSI connectivity, Isaacson said. SCSI connectivity is direct, but Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity require optional bridges, she said.

Spectra Logic is aiming for the T120 to compete with several midrange tape libraries including ADIC's Scalar 1000, Overland Storage's NEO and Qualstar's RLS and TLS series, Isaacson said.

Michael Fanelli, western regional manager at SSI hubcity, a Metuchen, N.J.-based solution provider, said Spectra Logic made the right move by taking the Python architecture of its T950, including its media type and its simple filing-drawer concept for loading tapes, and putting it in the smaller footprint T120. The T120 is also useful for smaller companies concerned about compliance issues, Fanelli said.

"With the new SAIT cartridges now including WORM [write once, read many) capabilities, you can handle compliance," Fanelli said. "Since the T120 can be partitioned, you can use part for WORM and part for regular backups."

The street price for the T120 with one LTO-2 drive and 30 slots starts at $16,600, Isaacson said.

Spectra Logic's RXT RAID array technology is based on the T950 library and uses its TeraPack tape-loading system that allows multiple tapes to be placed into a drawer that is then inserted into the library for automatic loading, said John Woelbern, consultant and project manager at Spectra Logic.

With the RXT, up to 12 2.5-inch off-the-shelf hard drives can fit into one drawer for a total capacity of 960 Gbytes per drawer, Woelbern said. The hard-drive TeraPack is then automatically loaded into a docking station which fills one of the tape-drive slots.

With RXT, which is expected to be available this fall, the T950 can have mixed tape- and hard-drive storage for use as disk-to-disk and disk-to-disk backup, Woelbern said. The hard drives initially emulate LTO-2 tape drives but will eventually be able to be used as a disk array as well, he said.

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