Quantum Seeks Channel Differentiation With New Entry-Level Tape Libraries


Quantum's new Scalar i40 and i80 tape meet a need for a large group of customers who are still doing backups to tape, or using tape as part of a disk-to-disk-to-tape backup process, said Janae Lee, senior vice president of marketing for Quantum.

The entry-level tape library market is still a $250 million business, Lee said.

"But the today market is almost all served by a single tape library which is sold under different names," she said. "That means the channel can only compete on price using those products. So our libraries are an opportunity for the channel."

The new Quantum libraries compete directly with those OEM products, which are manufactured by Rottweil, Germany-based BDT and sold by such vendors as HP, said Kieran Maloney, product marketing manager for Quantum's automated disk line.

Sponsored post

Quantum's Scalar i40 and i80 tape libraries are sold only through the channel, and are not available on an OEM basis, Maloney said.

"Partners can sell a unique product with Quantum," he said. "They know when they register a deal with Quantum that someone else won't come along with the same product but under a different brand name to take the deal."

Quantum's new Scalar i40 is a 3U tape library with up to 2 LTO-4 drives and 25 tape cartridge slots, including five import/export slots for moving tapes into the library. The comparable BDT library has up to 24 slots including one import/export slot in a 2U chassis, Maloney said.

The Scalar i80 is a 6U tape library with room for up to five drives and scalability to up to 80 cartridge slots, including five or 10 import/export slots. The comparable BDT unit scales to up to four drives and 48 slots, but requires a pass-through robotics unit to scale beyond 48 slots, Maloney said.

The Quantum tape libraries will initially ship with LTO-4 tape drives, and next year can be upgraded to LTO-5 drives as they become available, he said.

The Scalar i40 is currently available starting at $7,499 with one drive. The Scalar i80 is slated to ship in January with a starting price of $9,399 with one drive and 50 tape cartridge slots.

Adrian Gonzales, inside account executive at SHI, a Piscataway, N.J.-based solution provider and Quantum partner, said his company is targeting the Scalar i40 at small business customers with up to 200 seats where Dell is an active competitor.

In that market, the tape business is still quite big, Gonzales said.

"A lot of my customers have a lot more data than they can store on their existing tape libraries," he said.