Quantum adds midrange offering to tape libraries

Claiming that there is still strong global demand for storage tape capacity, the storage vendor narrows the gap between its tape autoloaders and high-end tape libraries.

SINGAPORE-- Quantum has unveiled a modular, midrange tape library family which narrows the gap between the storage vendor's low-end tape autoloaders and high-end tape libraries.

According to Jim Simon, Quantum's Asia-Pacific director of marketing, the PX500 series is targeted at medium businesses for use as their primary backup, and by large businesses in remote locations.

Citing figures from research firm IDC, Simon said that the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) tape automation market is likely to be flat, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 1.5 percent from US$290 million in 2003, to US$313 million in 2008.

But while sales of new tape hardware remains flat, global demand for storage tape capacity is increasing at about 120 percent per annum, he noted. And this growth is likely to continue over the next five years, he said, referring to data from the Santa Clara Consulting Group.

"This year, Quantum is launching the largest number of products and services in our history," said Rick Belluzzo, chairman and CEO of Quantum, in a media statement. Quantum in early-August, launched the Superloader3, the company's third-generation tape autoloader which is priced at under US$4,000, and aimed at small and medium-sized customers.

Belluzo added that the introduction of the PX500 series will be followed by new tape devices and disk-based storage systems "in the coming months".

The PX500 Series encompasses the PX502, PX506 and PX510, in 4U, 10U, and 18U rack-mount systems, respectively. Capacity starts from 15 terabytes (TB) of native capacity in the PX502, 40TB in the PX506, and scales up to more than 80TB of native capacity in the PX510.

Native performance ranges from 576 gigabytes (GB) per hour in the 2-drive PX502, 1,728GB per hour in the 6-drive PX506, to 2,880 GB per hour in the 10-drive PX510. In addition, the PX502 can hold up to 38 slots per chassis, the PX506 can scale up to 100 slots, and the PX510 up to 201 slots.

Customers can choose between high-performance tape drive formats such as the SDLT 600, LTO-2, or LTO-3. The new series comes with features such as hot-swappable drives, redundant power supplies, mixed media and drive support, plus SCSI or fibre channel connectivity.

The PX500 tape library series is available worldwide now. Pricing starts from US$14,600 for the PX502.

Simon revealed that a Singapore government agency has already ordered three new units, one from each of the three PX500 product models.