Data storage vendor Imation has announced the availability of enterprise-strength Linear Tape-Open (LTO) storage tape libraries for SMBs. The company says that the Imation L1200 LTO 2U and the Imation L1400 LTO 4U tape libraries come with the highest LTO capacity and transfer rates to help small and mid-sized businesses facing rapid and unpredictable growth meet strict industry regulations pertaining to the retention, retrieval and recovery of data.
"For SMBs facing rapidly increasing storage requirements, effective and secure tape archiving to manage valuable corporate information has been out of reach," Bill Schilling, director for scalable storage marketing at Imation, said in a prepared statement. Schilling also talked about how the move by Imation positions the IBM-manufactured enterprise-level solutions to a much wider portion of the channel through the company's value-added resellers.
According to Imation, the use of LTO-5 tape drives will allow tape libraries to store up to 1.5TB of uncompressed data per tape cartridge with a fast native data transfer rate of up to 140MB per second. This works out to 36TB of uncompressed data storage for the L1200 LTO 2U given that it supports two removable cartridge magazines with 12 data cartridge slots each. The L2400 LTO 4U offers twice the capacity at 72TB of uncompressed storage.
Native device driver support is available for supported system servers as well as Linux and Windows-based open systems via 6Gbps SAS interfaces. Moreover, remote library management through a standard Web interface also serves to provide flexibility and improved administrative control over storage operations. You can download the detailed specifications sheet for the L1200 and L2400 here (pdf) and here (pdf) respectively.
While the company's move to position a robust tape solution towards SMBs is anything but altruistic, it is undeniable that smaller SMBs and SOHOs inundated with rapidly growing data may have difficulty accessing a suitable tape solution for their needs. It is hence a shrewd move by Imation to address this segment of the market by positioning tape libraries under its well-known brand.
As observed in a recent survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Acronis, human error is attributed as the most common cause of system downtime. In response to the finding, I suggested in my recent post titled "SMBs More Confident of Backup and Disaster Recovery Capabilities," that it would be prudent for SMBs to plan for the inevitable system downtime.
Well, one concrete way to combat against mistakes and downtime would be to make regular backups on a medium that is less susceptible to mistakes or even sabotage by disgruntled insiders. Tape storage is uniquely suited in this regard as it is a proven, offline medium that continues to offer the cheapest cost per megabyte of storage. Indeed, 140MB per second of data storage is faster than most consumer-grade hard disk drives.