Storage supplier Storagetek will announce on Monday that it has started shipping versions of its high speed 9840 tape drives for IBM's AS/400 system and outline enhancements to its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM).
VSM was panned by customers because of installation difficulties and contributed to Storagetek's disappointing first quarter results, which were posted in April (see Newswire, 22 May, 1999).
But Steve Aaker, Storagetek's VSM marketing manager, claimed the company had now reduced installation time from four months to two weeks and the offering would support IBM Escon Directors to enable users to share multiple nearline tape drives across multiple disk buffers.
He added that VSM would also support Storagetek's longer length Timberline tape, which provided four times the capacity of standard cartridges.
The firm's 9840 tape drives, on the other hand, unlike traditional cassette tapes, have two reels in the cartridge instead of one. But because the tapes are inside the cartridge, the company claims that access time for random searches is about 18 seconds compared to between 50-60 seconds for similar IBM offerings.
Mark Peters, marketing manager for Storagetek's nearline business group, said: "The 9840 tape drives can appear to the AS/400 as IBM 3490 or 3590 tape drives through tweaks to the connectivity."
He also claimed that the 9840 could back up data up to 20 per cent faster than similar IBM tapes for the AS/400. "The difference is taking four hours to do backup, rather than five," he added.
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