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Exabyte Shipping Low-cost Tape Automation For SMBs

Posted by iTech - 2006-04-13

Exabyte is trying to expand its small business backup market with a pair of new tape automation devices and a new tape drive with on-demand capacity upgradeability.

The Boulder, Colo.-based tape drive and automation vendor on Monday started shipping the Magnum 224 LTO library, with one or two half-height LTO-2 drives or one full-height LTO-3 drive and one or two 12-cartridge magazines.

The Magnum 224 scales to a maximum of 4.8 Tbytes compressed, with compressed speeds of up to 172 Gbytes per hour. The 2U-high appliance includes a bar code reader, four SCSI ports, and Ethernet and USB ports.

Kerry Brock, vice president of corporate marketing for Exabyte, said the company is looking to kick start channel sales of the Magnum 224 by offering a free second magazine to solution providers for sales during this quarter. Exabyte is also offering a spif to its channel partners, although Brock declined to provide specifics about that program. The Magnum 224 is already a part of the company's deal registration program.

The price with one drive and one 12-cartridge magazine is $4,600. A seconds half-height LTO-2 drive costs $2,400, and a second magazine costs 350. The appliance includes a one-year on-site warranty, and an additional two years can be purchased for $450. It is available via Ingram Micro and Tech Data.

Exabyte also recently released a new tape drive in its VXA family, the VXA-172 Packet Drive, which offers a field-upgradeable on-demand capacity increase, said Brock.

The $699 tape drive can work with 86-Gbyte and 172-Gbyte tape cartridges out of the box, and in the near future will be able to be upgraded to work with 320-Gbyte cartridges by downloading a $349 electronic key, Brock said.
"Exabyte is producing a drive with longer longevity," he said. "It lets customers get an attractive price point up front for a drive that has four times the speed and twice the capacity of a DAT drive with the same price."

Customers can either purchase stand-alone drives, or a 10-cartridge autoloader with capacity of to 1.7 Tbytes. The autoloader is street-priced at $1,699, and the firmware key for doubling the capacity is expected to be priced at $599, when it becomes available later this year.

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