UDO Owner Quiet Over Plans for New ‘Storage Product’
January 25, 2011 Alex Woodie
Alliance Storage Technologies, which bought the rights to Plasmon’s Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology in a fire sale about two years ago, is working on its “next generation” of storage technologies. ASTI isn’t revealing much about the new product, except to say to expect it in 2012.
ASTI made its mysterious announcement in October at a storage event in London. The only specifics the company would release was that the new product would increase library capacity by 800 percent, that beta tests would start in the fourth quarter of 2011, and that deliveries would begin in 2012.
The company left much to the imagination–including whether it was even talking about UDO technology in the first place. It is assumed that ASTI was referring to the UDO technology, which was a hot commodity about eight years ago as companies–including many IBM i shops–looked for a secure way to store lots of data for decades.
However, ASTI never specifically mentioned its UDO technology in its announcement. A close look at ASTI’s press release only references “a new product line,” “our next generation offerings,” “our upcoming product line,” and an increase in “library capacity.”
Since libraries are libraries and drives are drives, this leaves open the possibility that ASTI is not referring to its 5.25-inch UDO optical drive technology. After all, those drives can be co-mingled with other types of optical drives, including 12-inch magneto optical (MO) drives and 120-mm DVD drives, in a G-Series or D-Series library. ASTI sells all of these products–including the libraries–leaving one wondering what exactly ASTI was talking about.
Attempts to contact ASTI to confirm key elements of its announcement were met only with references to the aforementioned press release, which stated the following: “Exercising prudence, ASTI declined to supply specifics about the upcoming product line.”
While it’s being prudent with core details, ASTI is bullish on optical technologies as a whole. Bob Harney, who was announced as ASTI’s new director of global sales in December, apparently thinks the future for optical is really, really bright. “This is a great time to be in the optical data storage industry,” Harney stated in a press release.
Harney and his colleagues at ASTI are hunkering down for the long industry conference season and will be ready to discuss events–including presumably the new UDO product, if that indeed is what the company is cooking up–in early fall, an ASTI spokesperson says.