ADIC would be among the first vendors to deliver a tape library that incorporates disk arrays. Bob Amatruda, research manager at IDC for tape and removable storage, says tape vendors like ADIC are in a better position to supply disk-based backup solutions to the market.
"I do believe that tape and tape subsystem suppliers understand backup and data protection, much more so than the pure-play disk suppliers," he says. Amatruda notes that most enterprise customers are interested in integrated solutions, and are looking for ways to use disk to augment tape backup rather than replace it.
Introduced in March, ADIC's i2000 provides an internal library control server and can handle between 100 and 2,200 cartridges, which can be a mix of AIT, LTO, or SDLT (see ADIC Launches i2000 Library). Combined with the company's StorNext management software and file system, the library will be able to let users set policies about which data should get backed up to disk rather than tape, ADIC says.
"We're putting intelligence into the library," van Oppen says. "Moving forward, you're going to have much smarter units of storage like this." He notes that ADIC has gradually increased its R&D spending: In the most recent quarter, R&D was 11 percent of revenues, compared with 4 to 6 percent in prior periods.
Van Oppen emphasizes that ADIC isn't getting into the disk business. The point of having disk directly in the tape library is to simplify management and provide customers with more flexible options. "We're selling it from a one-throat-to-choke model," he says.