Maxell's Super DLTtape II
Volume Number: 22 (2006)
Issue Number: 4
Column Tag: Review
Maxell's Super DLTtape II
by MacTech Staff
Oh Yeah, Media
We've talked a lot about backup, however, your backup is only useful if you can read the data back and restore. So, after you've invested all this effort, and money, in your backup system, it makes no sense to skimp on the media.
Since we've had great experience with Maxell media, we chose it again here. Maxell's Super DLTtape II cartridge has a capacity of 300 GB and 600 GB in native and compressed mode with transfer rates of 36 and 72 MB/sec. In our use, we regularly saw 450GB per tape, and even at a cost of around $100 per tape, this was amazing compared to what we've seen with other media in the past.
For the tape geek in you, Super DLTtape II features NeoSMART (Neo Super Maximum capacity Advanced Reliability Tape technology platform) for higher capacity, and proprietary ultra-fine ceramic coated metal particle tape for guarding against humidity, heat, oxidation, and abrasion.
Super DLTtape II is equipped with a buckling system that supports operation in heavy-duty cycle scenarios, and ensures a secure link with drive leader. The tape lock mechanism maintains proper tape tension preventing tape movement and slack. Advanced polishing technology produces a smooth magnetic layer for less head abrasion and better writing/reading, whereas Optical Servo enables tracks to be written on the back, freeing up 100 percent of tape for increased data storage capacity.
What does this all mean? It means that Maxell has paid attention to make sure the tape doesn't get caught up in the drive mechanism, and just works.
The tape in Super DLTtape II is 1/2 inch wide and 2,066 feet in length. It has a durability rating of 1,000,000 passes, coercivity of 2,600 Oe, and an archival storage lifespan of more than 30 years. Operating temperature range is 50 to 104 degrees F, and operating humidity range is 20 to 80 percent RH. Storage temperature range is 60 to 90 degrees F. Archival temperature range is 64 to 82 degrees F, and archival humidity range id is 40 to 60 percent RH. High coercivity and better remanance result in lower noise level and high density recording for accurate reading. The cartridge measures 4.16 x 4.15 x 1 inches.
The tape is also anti-static, dust resistant, and comes in blue for easy recognition. The package is factory- sealed and a custom barcode labeling service is also available. Even the new labeling system is easy to use, and easily replaced if you change the purpose of the tape.
Maxell also makes great cleaning tapes. Each of these can be used up to 25 times, and it takes care of counting for you so that you don't do damage to your drive by cleaning with an already used cleaning tape. With SDLT, you don't clean proactively, only when the drive is asked, so we've not had as much experience with these cleaning products as we have with the tapes, but they are pretty simple: you put them in, they clean, you are done.
Super DLTtape II is sold through a number of online resellers for as low as $95. Cleaning tapes are about the same, or slightly less.
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