Certance Dat 72
The Dat 72 from Certance (originally part of Seagate but now an independent company) is based on the same helical scan technology as used in earlier DDS drives. As a result, it can read and write existing DDS-3/DDS-4 cartridges, and store up to 36GB on the latest 170m tapes.
That's over half as much again as DDS-4, rising to 72GB when maximum compression is applied, enough to back up most entry-level servers onto a single tape.
Another benefit is the small format of the Certance drive (3.5in, half-height), which is available bare for mounting inside a server or as an external drive with its own independent power supply.
A 1U rackmount version is also available with either one or two drives installed, and it's used as part of the Certance CP 3100 disk-to-disk-to-tape backup appliance.
The same mechanism is employed in all implementations, with an Ultra2 SCSI interface in each case and bundled Tapeware XE backup software from Yosemite Technologies.
The tiny tapes used by the Dat 72 are inserted and ejected, VCR-style, via a slot at the front of the unit. A cleaning cartridge needs to be used on a regular basis and is included as standard together with a data cartridge to get you started. And, although a recent innovation, Dat 72 tapes are now readily available for around £20 ex VAT or less.
Performance isn't a strong point, with a relatively slow sustained transfer rate of just 3.5Mbytes/sec (7Mbytes/sec compressed), less than half of what's possible with the Quantum DLT VS160.
However, it is also about half the price of the Quantum drive and, where backups are run overnight, the slower speed is unlikely to be of much consequence. Bear in mind that it will also take longer to restore files or recover a crashed server from tape, and that nearly always has to be done during working hours.
Price: Internal drive £486.45 (£414 ex VAT); external drive £569.88 (£485 ex VAT)
Contact: Certance 01628 894 044