Overland Ships Dreadnaughts

The new tape automation devices, formerly codenamed Dreadnaught, were originally expected to ship to the channel in late February.

Channel sources also expect Dell to sell the products on an OEM basis. Peri Grover, director of product management at Overland, confirmed that her company has "OEM interest" in the ARCvault family, but would not comment on whether that includes Dell.

The family includes the ARCvault 12, a tape autoloader with one half-height LTO-2 tape drive and room for up to 12 cartridges. It will also be available with a half-height LTO-3 tape drive, when such drives become available, Grover said.

Also new is the ARCvault 24, a tape library with room for either two half-height LTO-2 drives or one full-height LTO-3 drive, along with two 12-cartridge magazines.

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The devices target smaller businesses looking to add tape backup to their disk arrays as part of a simple disk-to-disk-to-tape backup solution, Grover said. "It gives VARs a good tape offering that lets them focus on their disk-to-disk backup sale," she said.

The ARCvaults replace Overland's existing LoaderExpress and PowerLoader products, and are targeted at customers too small for the company's Neo series of tape automation products.

Grover said Overland is targeting both direct marketers and solution providers with the ARCvault family. She said she expects the direct marketers to be a bigger channel than solution providers

Direct marketers will probably sell more of the ARCvaults, especially the ARCvault 12 autoloader, but it also will be a strong product for solution providers, said Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Cleveland, Ohio-based Overland channel partner. "The technical specifications and street price are a good fit with our customers," Knieriemen said.

The problem with customers buying products like tape automation devices from direct marketers is that products from multiple vendors look more and more alike, Knieriemen said. "As a channel partner, our difference is we offer different solutions based on customer needs," he said. "Direct marketers offer solutions they are familiar with."

Dave Holloway, executive vice president of PAC Data, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based value-added distributor working with Overland, said solution providers can connect the ARCvaults with Overland's Reo disk-based arrays for disk-to-disk-to-tape solutions. "It's a good, low-cost solution," he said.

The ARCvault 12 has a street price of $3,995 with a half-height LTO-2 tape drive, while the ARCvault 24 with two half-height LTO-2 drives is priced from $4,795. Both are currently shipping.

The two models include a touch-screen front panel, remote management, and a bar code reader. Grover said that the ARCvault 12 can be field-upgraded to an ARCvault 24 as the customer's requirements grow.