Data Storage and Backup Solutions
Archive for April, 2009
We’re going to be upfront with everyone at this point. This is the fourth post here and we still haven’t properly introduced ourselves. For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, we are a tape drive “business”. Yes, we are a business! We SELL tape drives. Our goal is to make money doing what we do best. What we do best is provide companies (small and large) with quality tape drives and storage solutions that best suite their needs. As a people, when we spend money on a product we want that product to be the best possible solution for the task it is designed to perform. So it is with tape drives. We realize that you want the best solution for what you’re paying. We also understand that people are generally more comfortable buying from a person or dealer who is credible which entails having substantial knowledge about the product(s) he’s selling. At Computer Peripherals Unlimited, we want to be that person for you. We want to offer you, not just quality tape drives and storage solutions, but also a place to come to for advice, information, and updates on the industry.
This in mind, we encourage your feedback. Your comments on all posts are accepted with open arms as your ideas can assist us, and our other readers, in understanding more about the topics presented here. One of the main purposes of the internet is to enable us to connect with the right person/industry at any given time. That right person or industry depends on each person’s own need at any given time. We want to be that person for you. If you’re reading this right now it’s because you’re interested in tape drives, disk backup, tape repair, or some other related topic. We don’t want you to be disappointed by not finding what you’re looking for. If by chance you don’t find it, as said before, let us know and we’ll be sure to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Now, on to the topic of the post. Our last entry talked about LTO tape drives, what they are, when they were developed, by which companies were they developed, and what are the benefits of using tape instead of say disk or hard-drive based backups. Now we want to talk about some specific models of LTO for each generation. From each of the four generations (lto1, lto2, lto3, and lto4), you’ll find unique features that distinguish one from the other. Additionally, you’ll also find that the characteristics of one brand of lto3 might differ from another brand of the same generation. Here we will pick one system from each of the 4 generations to present along with their unique features and capabilities. You can view our full product list of LTO tape drives by clicking on the link provided.
With the economy basically in shambles, many companies (both small and large) are constrained to a fairly tight budget. The IBM T200 LTO1 is a great way to hang on to a few extra bucks and still get a quality tape drive that will last. This drive works best in smaller to mid-range environments as the maximum compressed data capacity is 200GB and only 100GB of uncompressed data storage. However, it makes up for it’s size with increased data transfer rate of 15MB/s for uncompressed and 30MB/s for compressed date transfer. It also has an LCD display that shows the status of your transfers at all times with easy to understand drive information. It supports a wide range of operating systems including:
- AIX V4.3.2 or 4.3.3
- OS/400 V4R4 or higher
- Windows NT Version 4.0 with Service Pack 6.0
- Windows 2000
Newer versions of the IBM T200 may support Sun Solaris 2.6 or Solaris7 and HP-UX Version 11.0 as well.
It’s always hard for a younger brother to live up to the accomplishments of his elders who’ve come before. In sports, individuals such as Eli Manning, Robin Lopez, and Serena Williams come to mind. Here we have the IBM T400 LTO2 trying to live up to its older brother, the T200 LTO1. It was difficult for IBM as they set the bar fairly high with the first generation models . However, they rose to the challenge and added some super enhanced features in the new model. A few of these enhancements include Digital Speed Matching(DSM), a 64 MB buffer which works with DSM to minimize the impact of data rate fluctuations, implementation of an improved LTO data compression(SLDC) algorithm, Partial Response Maximum Likelihood(PRML), Reel Motor enhancements, and smart power management to help your company stay green and cut power costs. For all intents and purposes the T400 LTO2 definitely exceeded all expectations.
2005 marked the year of the worms for LTO. The new LTO3s possessed Write Once Read Many capabilities and the HP960 -LTO3 is the best in its class for customer experience with it’s second to none manageability tools, diagnostics tools and WORM support. It was designed for SAN automation which allows library configuration of World Wide Names to allow hot-swap operation. This third generation LTO offers businesses the opportunity to reduce costs by providing greater storage consolidation and an unprecedented ROI by reducing the number of required data cartridges. It is also 100% RoHS compliant. Another great characteristic of the HP960-LTO3 is that it can continuously and dynamically adjust its speed to match the speed of your host or network. This is called Data Rate Matching. For a full spec list of the HP960 you can visit our page dedicated to this product provided in the link above.
This baby is the head honcho of the LTO drives. The latest generation LTO4 from IBM, TS1040 is lightening fast and can store twice as much data as the LTO3 models. The transfer rate capability is a stellar 120MB/sec. In addition to its speed and increased storage capacity, an added benefit is that it can read AND write tapes from the earlier LTO2 and LTO3 models. So theres’ no need to buy additional tapes for your new LTO4 drive provided you have disposable tapes from your existing drives. One minor drawback to the TS1040 is that support for the encryption function requires some microcode firmware that is your responsibility to load, configure, and maintain on the TS3500 Tape Library. However, once loaded and configured, this support is quite beneficial in that it gives you a flexible tape data encryption solution that supports encryption and key management across many different environments.
The LTOs listed here are our picks for quality, durability, speed, and performance in each of the four generations of linear tape drives. We recognize there are others not listed here that offer similar features and capabilites. Ultimately, your choice of system will depend upon your company’s specific needs, budget, and goals. We hope you were able to find value in the information provided here. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to these or any of the products on our site. Please fill free to fill out our quote form in the sidebar or on the request quote page and we will respond to your question or inquiry as soon as possible.
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LTO (Linear Tape-open) drives have been around since the early 90′s. They were first developed as an open standard or “open source” form of other tape formats that existed. These other tape formats were controlled by Quantum and Sony at the time. The companies that saved the day are IBM, HP, and Seagate who ventured on creating a more open form of tape drive that would be affordable and still possess the storage capabilities of other competing formats.
The first LTO was released in 2000 and could hold 100GB of data in one cartridge. The most recent, the LTO-4, was released in 2007 and can hold up to 800GB. Its predecessor, LTO-3, was released in 2005 offering 400GB of native data capacity in addition to its new WORM capabilities.
Throughout the LTO generations, a common theme has presented itself over and over again. That theme can best be described in one word “double.” A popular flavor of chewing gum brought us the tagline, “double your pleasure, double your fun,” but it is the LTO, generations 1 through 4, that offers the greatest statement for businesses looking for affordable high capacity storage solutions. This is because each generation that has unveiled itself has doubled its storage capacity from the previous generation. The most important aspect though, is that, though the storage capacity continues to increase with each subsequent release, the size of the drive remains essentially the same.
If the above descriptions have not sufficiently informed you of the many benefits of using linear tape open drives at least as a supplement to your business’s storage and backup solution, browse through the list below for a more comprehensive understanding of the many features of LTO drives.
From the first generation HP 215 LTO Ultrium tape drive with a transfer rate of up to 15MB/second to the latest HP 1760 LTO4 that offers a transfer rate of nearly 160MB/second (576GB/hour), linear tape open drives always provide lightning fast transfer speeds for the best price. Couple this with a maximum rewind time of only 98 seconds and an average tape seek/filemark search time of only 75 seconds, and you’re left with less time dealing with your data backup and more time to focus on those things that really make your business succeed.
Most lto tape drives are good for anywhere from 15 to 30 years worth of archival. Obviously this will depend on the number of cartridge loads and unloads as well as the number of file passes you require from your system. On average, linear tape open drives can handle at least 5000 cartridge loads/unloads and approximately 260 full file passes. A file pass refers to the amount of data written to fill a whole tape. These numbers are simply averages and will very depending on the generation of lto drive and the extent of wear and tear placed upon it by the user.
The third generation LTO-3 tape drives brought the write once read many (WORM) capability to the table for tape drives in 2005. WORM prevents data that has already been written from being re-written, reformatted, or erased. This is particularly useful for keeping legal records and records involved in IT transformation in the health care industry.
It is well known that using traditional cleaning cartridges for tape drives can cause damage and limit the lifespan of the drive. LTO limits the potency of this problem with its internal cleaning mechanism that takes care of cleaning tasks based on time and error rate criteria. This helps prevent the drive from using the cleaning tape if it is not needed.
The list goes on and on with ways LTO drives can provide an inexpensive yet quality way of storing data. If you would like to learn more about how an lto system can help your business, please fill out any of our forms with your inquiry. We will respond to your questions and can offer you price quotes on a system that will work best for your company. You can also check out the product details of some of our lto systems on our website at www.cpuinc.com/lto-tape-drives/.