GST Ships Super-AIT Tape Drives for iSeries, Open Systems
January 20, 2004 Alex Woodie
GST last week announced the availability of its newest line of iSeries-compatible tape drives using Sony Electronics‘ Super Advanced Intelligent Tape (SAIT-1) technology. With a compressed capacity of 1.3 TB (500 GB native), 108 GB per hour native transfer rate, and “write once, read many” capability, GST says its new SAIT-1 tape drives and library will appeal to midrange shops with large amounts of data to back up, or to those that need to tamper-proof their archives to comply with new regulations.
The SAIT-1 tape drive, which Sony launched in early 2003, was the first tape drive to break the 1 TB mark. And it will be the only 1 TB drive, until Quantum ships its Super Digital Linear Tape (SDLT) 1200 tape drive, which will offer 1.2 TB compressed storage, sometime in 2004. Sony’s SAIT roadmap provides for a native capacity of 4 TB per cartridge by 2010 with SAIT-4.
Everybody’s storage needs are growing, but who needs a 1 GB tape drive today? According to market researcher Gartner, the half-inch format SAIT-1 is a good solution for capacity-hungry applications, such as video, document, or medical images; large databases; or seismic or aerospace applications. While you won’t find Boeing doing design work with an iSeries server, plenty of OS/400 shops have very large databases that take hours to back up. Thanks to GST’s innovative work to support the unique storage architecture of the iSeries, these OS/400 shops have the option of using SAIT-1 technology.
GST is selling the SAIT-1 drive in three different configurations: single-drive and dual-drive subsystems, and a single- or dual-drive library.
SINGLE-DRIVE SAIT-1 SUBSYSTEM
GST’s new single-drive SAIT-1 subsystem is part of its EntryDR family of products and features a multi-function LCD operator display. This subsystem can back up multiple types of servers, and it supports SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces. A single-drive SAIT-1 subsystem with an LVD SCSI interface to an iSeries server costs $13,850, while the HVD SCSI interface costs $14,150. The same drive with a Fibre Channel interface costs $16,500. Subtract about $2,000 from each of these drives if you’re connecting to an open system server.
DUAL-DRIVE SAIT-1 SUBSYSTEM
GST doesn’t have different pricing for its iSeries- and open-systems-compatible dual-drive SAIT-1 tape subsystems. These subsystems, which also feature a multi-function LCD operator display, are part of GST’s SafeDR family of offerings, which includes mirroring software to make a second back-up copy in real time, and has offline copy and cascading capabilities. A dual-drive SAIT-1 subsystem with an LVD or HVD SCSI interface costs $28,850, while the same drive with a Fibre Channel interface runs $31,700. There is no separate pricing for iSeries connectivity with the dual-drive offerings.
DUAL-DRIVE SAIT-1 LIBRARY
GST is also selling SAIT-1 drives in its GrowthDR family of midrange tape libraries. These libraries hold up to eight five-cartridge magazines, and have two fixed slots, for a total capacity of 44 tape cartridges. Like the dual-drive SAIT-1 subsystem, the SAIT-1 midrange library can be configured with GST’s Mirrored Backup software to make simultaneous copies, but it also features the company’s Virtual Library Partitioning software, which enables a multiple-drive library to back up two different hosts, or different logical partitions, on a single iSeries system, within a single tape library.
iSeries pricing for GST’s one-drive SAIT-1 library ranges from $30,600 for an LVD or HVD SCSI interface, to $33,700 for a Fibre Channel interface. Two-drive libraries range from $42,200 for SCSI to $45,300 for Fibre Channel. GST’s mirroring software adds nothing to the cost of these libraries. Virtual Library Partitioning, however, does add to the cost. The partitioning software is available for the two-drive LVD or HVD SCSI models for $46,750, while the partitioning-enabled version of the two-drive Fibre Channel library runs $52,950. GST also lets you mix and match the partitioning feature with LVD/HVD SCSI and Fibre Channel SAIT-1 drives, in a two-drive library that costs $49,850. Open systems pricing is several thousand dollars less than iSeries for GST’s GrowthDR libraries.
SAIT-1 also provides “write once, read many” technology, which in itself provides protection against data being overwritten, whether it’s on a tape, a magnetic disk, or an optical platter. With a slew of new federal regulations, such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, dictating how long companies need to keep their data, many companies are looking to use WORM technology to comply with the regulations and to minimize their liability. GST also touts the SAIT-1 drives reliability as an archive; it features a 500,000-hour mean time between failures (MTBF) rating.
David Breisacher, chief executive and chairman of the Lake Forest, California, company, says GST’s new SAIT-1 subsystems and libraries provide a scalable range that can be used by small and large companies alike. “These single-drive, dual-drive, and midrange library backup solutions bring real high-powered performance to installations straining to get their backups completed in time, yet we price at levels that make them highly affordable,” he says.
For more detailed pricing information, as well as data sheets, go to www.gstinc.com.