Sony Offers Vision for Enterprise Tape Future

With the release of its 3rd generation AIT product, Sony Electronics Inc. publicly stated that it would halt development of its DDS line of tape and offered a glimpse into future tape products.

Sony released its AIT-3 tape line today, marking the third iteration of its midrange tape line.  AIT uses an 8mm cartridge with a helical scan pattern for storing backup information. The new drives support tapes that store up to 100GB of data, with transfer rates topping out at 12 MB/s. The previous generation, AIT-2 stored 60GB with a 6MB/s transfer rate. AIT-3 drives can read AIT-2 tapes.

AIT competes with Quantum Corp’s SuperDLT, LTO Ultrium from a variety of vendors, and Exabyte Corp’s Mammoth 2 for midrange backup and recovery applications.

A Sony spokesperson indicated Sony is pursuing an AIT WORM (Write Once Read Many) format based on AIT-3. Many enterprises such as financial services organizations are legally bound to keep records of transactions. Sony believes that this format would appeal to these enterprises, since it obviates the risk of erasure.

Sony also announced that it would halt development on its 4mm DDS tape line. DDS, which uses a tape similar to Digital Audio Tape, is used for low-end backup applications. Sony says that capacity for the format has plateaued, and users who need greater capacity would be better served by AIT.  Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.