A new tape drive company set up with financial backing from Philipsr servers and desktops. is to launch a 50Gb tape drive in March for #459.
OnStream, based in the US but with offices in the Netherlands, is launching SCSI and IDE tape drives for servers and desktops, starting at #199 for a 30Gb internal IDE drive. The drives use a new tape technology developed by Philips called Advanced Digital Recording (ADR), which uses eight tracks on the tape to store information, increasing speed and reliability. It also increases the life of the media by reducing wear and tear, and makes the drives quieter than comparable machines.
Splitting the tape into eight tracks means that the drives come out top in reliability tests, losing 1-bit of information in every 10. This is 10,000 times more reliable than the average hard drive, OnStream claims.
The large amount that can be stored means that the tape runs more slowly, and with variable transfer rates, the tape does not have to stop and start, reducing media damage and noise.
The drives ship with innovative new backup software, Echo, that represents the tapes as removable drives in Windows' Explorer interface, unlike normal tape drives which are only accessible via backup software. Although the 2Mbps transfer rate is too slow to allow applications to be run off the tape, streaming media such as video and audio can be played directly from the tape.
The software also includes an indexing package that makes a note of every file transferred to removable media on the computer, including floppy disks, Zip drives and the OnStream tape itself. This acts as a one-stop database of the files not permanently residing on the hard drive. This database can then be queried by file type or date.
Echo also makes full use of the massive size of the tapes, and does not overwrite previous versions of the same file. This means that you can choose which version of the file to restore, by right-clicking the file in the OnStream drive window.
The drives are available in SCSI or IDE, and OnStream is targetting the SCSI versions at the workgroup server market.
The 30Gb SC30 costs #329, and the 50Gb SC50 costs #459. The 30Gb internal IDE DI30 costs #199, and the 30Gb external parallel port DP30 costs #259. Media costs are #26 for 30Gb tapes and #33 for 50Gb, and bundled and multiple packages will also be available.
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