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Tape Alternatives Roll Out

PowerFile, Imation, and ProStor are looking to lure users away from tape-based backup

Disk drive vendors and their storage partners are offering more backup alternatives to tape, and at least a few cranked up their efforts around Blu-Ray disk and removable media this week.

Yesterday, archiving specialist PowerFile added Blu-Ray disk technology from Panasonic to its A3 appliance. Blu-Ray, which can offer 50 Gbytes of storage on a double-layer DVD-sized disk, is just one of a number of optical technologies that are becoming increasingly visible in the storage market. (See Users Open Up on Optical, Optical WORMs Into Enterprise, and Call/Recall Unveils Storage Solution.)

Originally a consumer offering, Blu-Ray is slowly making its presence felt in the business sector, joining Ultra Density Optical (UDO) libraries in use for enterprise archiving. (See Archiving Adds Value to Old News and Optical WORMs Into Enterprise.)

Powerfile first started talking about a Blu-Ray appliance last year and is touting the technology as a longer-term storage medium than tape. (See PowerFile Pushes DVD Archiving.) With a lifespan between 10 and 15 years, Blu-Ray more than doubles the typical 5-year lifespan of tape technology.

Powerfile has also jumped on the energy efficiency bandwagon with its high-density Blu-Ray offering, claiming that the 120-Tbyte A3 box consumes only 5 percent of the power taken by systems based on other disk technologies, such as SATA. (See Coping With SATA Growth, WD Intros SATA Hard Drives, and Smart Intros SATA SSDs.)

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