TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Quantum's SDLT 600 Tape Drive System

Volume Number: 22 (2006)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Review

Quantum's SDLT 600 Tape Drive System

by MacTech Staff

Quantum is in an interesting position in the market, in that they are leaders with both their DLT and LTO technologies. Both of these technologies are great, and have multiple sources for media. The first priority for DLT is capacity, and the first priority for LTO is speed. That said, LTO's capacity is terrific, and DLT's speed is no slouch either. To be fair, DTL was invented by Quantum. LTO, on the other hand, was invented by IBM. Quantum acquired Certance a while back which gave them a firm foothold in the LTO market, allowing Quantum to give their customers a wider array of choices.

For MacTech, capacity was the highest priority, so we went the DLT direction. There are several different levels of DLT from the most economical to the highest capacity. The latest in the DLT family is the DLT-S4 which holds a whopping 1.6 terabytes per cartridge (compressed) which is twice the capacity of the LTO-3 standard, and nearly three times the SDLT 600 that we selected for this review.

Whether you choose DLT or LTO, there are a variety of auto loader and library solutions for you to choose from. It's all a matter of budget, and how much you need to back up. Both have road maps for the future. DLT is on path to ultimately get to 14 terabytes per cartridge.

The bottom line is that no matter what you decide, DLT or LTO, you are bound to be pleased. Both are great technologies, with great brands behind them, lots of tape vendors, and are speedy with high capacity.

The SDLT 600

SDLT 600 tape drive systems are at the upper end of Quantum's line of digital linear tape drives that include the SDLT 220, SDLT 320, and of course, the new DLT-S4. The SDLT 600 tape drive system comprises both the tape drive and the data cartridge. The tape system is available in four versions, an internal unit for server installation, a tabletop unit, a rack mount, and a library model for installing in tape automation systems. The tape drive provides 300 GB of storage capacity with a transfer speed of 36 MB/sec in native mode, and 600 GB of storage capacity with a transfer speed of 72 MB/sec in compressed mode. MacTech has regularly been able to get 450 GB out of tapes in real world usage.

SDLT 600 contains on-board hardware to compress and decompress data using a DLZ algorithm. The default setting for data compression is on. This system utilizes DLTSage, a data management solution that allows users to manage, predict and prevent problems before they occur. It also comes with DLTIce, which provides WORM (Write Once, Read Many) archival functionality, although we did not experiment with this.


Quantum SDLT 600, Dual unit Rack Mount Version


Quantum SDLT 600 Table Top (External)

Nitty Gritty Details

For those that care about the nitty gritty details, SDLT 600 has 40 logical and 640 physical tracks with a track density of 1502 tracks per inch (tpi). Linear bit density is 233 Kbits per inch (Kbpi) with read/write tape speed of 108 inches per second (ips), rewind tape Speed of 160 ips, and linear search tape speed of 160 ips. The average rewind time, maximum rewind time, average access time (from beginning of tape), and maximum access time (from beginning of tape) are 77, 156 seconds, 79, and 190 seconds respectively. The typical load from the beginning of tape time and unload to beginning of tape time are 18 and 19 seconds respectively, while load to beginning of tape for unformatted tape takes 63 seconds. Nominal tape tension is 3.0 +/- 0.5 oz for stationary drive, and 3.5 +/- 0.5 oz at operating speed.

SDLT 600 is a streaming tape drive that uses half-inch wide Super Digital Linear Tape (MR-S2MQN-01) media and offers backward read compatibility with the SDLT 220 and SDLT 320 tape drive formats, Super DLTtape I data cartridge type, and the DLT VS160 tape drive format with DLTtape VS1 data cartridge type. It does not, however, have the ability to use the older DLT tapes that look like they would fit, but don't. Definitely do not try this: you'll damage the drive.

This tape drive utilizes the SDLT Cleaning (MR-SACCL-01) cartridge. But, don't go out and buy a ton of these ... they work for 25 cleanings, and you should not clean proactively, only when the drive asks for it (through the indicator light or software). After months of using this drive for every day backups, we've yet to clean it.

This product is powered by Quantum's Laser Guided Magnetic Recording (LGMR) technology that provides a combination of the optical and magnetic technologies, resulting in higher capacities by substantially increasing the number of recording tracks on the data-bearing surface of the media. It is equipped with Pivoting Optical Servo (POS), a Quantum-invented, optically-encoded servo system, that combines high-density magnetic read/write data recording with laser servo guiding. The system also features Magneto Resistive Cluster (MRC) heads, advanced Partial Response Maximum Likelihood technology, Advanced Metal Powder (AMP) media, and positive engagement tape leader buckling mechanism.

SDLT 600 also comes with the TapeAlert feature that enables constant monitoring of the device's hardware and media for errors and potential difficulties by an internal SDLT firmware. It flags any problems identified on the SCSI log page, where 64 bytes are reserved for TapeAlert.

This tape drive is available with either Ultra 160 SCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces. The Ultra 160 SCSI interface provides a low-voltage differential (LVD) mode running up to 160 MB/second and a single-ended (SE) mode running up to 40 MB/sec. Fibre Channel interface runs at speeds up to either 1 Gb/sec or 2 Gb/sec, depending on the configuration chosen during installation. Fibre Channel can support up to 126 devices in a loop configuration. Long wave transceivers (with fiber optic cable) support distances up to 10 Kilometers, and the shortwave transceivers (with fiber optic cable) support distances up to 500 meters.

We tested the Ultra 160 SCSI version in our installation.

The projected MTBF (mean time between failures) for SDLT 600 is 250,000 hours. Head life is a minimum of 30,000 tape motion hours, and an average of 50,000 media motion hours. In terms of media durability, the number of media passes and full media uses to expect from a Super DLTtape II data cartridge are 1,000,000 and 250 respectively. In terms of data cartridge life expectancy, the number of load/unload cycles and media insertions to expect before the data cartridges need to be replaced are 5,000 and 20,000 respectively. The positive engagement tape leader buckling mechanism engages the tape leaders upon data cartridge load, and disengages them upon data cartridge unload. This allows buckle arm components including take-up leader, supply leader, and the media to function for at least 250,000 cycles on an SDLT 600 tape drive without failure, breakage, or binding.

Conclusion

This product was simply a pleasure to review, and to have in our network. It's must be part Macintosh, as from day one, we plugged it in, and it just worked. Two thumbs up!

We found an assortment of online resellers for the two tape drives with prices as low as:

Quantum SDLT 600 Internal: $ 2,899

Quantum SDLT 600 External: $ 3,099

For more information visit: http://www.quantum.com


MacTech Staff

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple iTunes 12.2 - Play Apple Music...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
Apple Security Update 2015-005 - For OS...
Apple Security Update 2015-005 is recommended for all users and improves the security of OS X. For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.... Read more
Apple HP Printer Drivers 3.1 - For OS X...
Apple HP Printer Drivers includes the latest HP printing and scanning software for OS X Lion or later. For information about supported printer models, see this page. Version 3.1: The latest printing... Read more
Epson Printer Drivers 3.1 - For OS X 10....
Epson Printer Drivers installs the latest software for your EPSON printer or scanner for OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Lion. For more information about printing and... Read more
Xcode 6.4 - Integrated development envir...
Xcode provides everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Xcode brings user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging into a united workflow. The Xcode... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 - Apple's lat...
OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels entirely fresh, yet inherently familiar. The apps you use every day, enhanced with new features. And a... Read more
Dash 3.0.2 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 5.0 - Font management...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
Typinator 6.6 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
Arq 4.12.1 - Online backup to Google Dri...
Arq is super-easy online backup for the Mac. Back up to your own Google Drive storage (15GB free storage), your own Amazon Glacier ($.01/GB per month storage) or S3, or any SFTP server. Arq backs up... Read more

Hands-On With Raceline CC
Set for release soon, Rebellion’s motorbike racing game, Raceline CC certainly looks stylish. But how does it play? I got my hands on a preview build to answer exactly that. | Read more »
Siegefall - Tips, Tricks, and Strategies...
So, you fancy establishing a base and ruling the world again. Siegefall is a convenient place to do that, but how about some great tips and tricks on how best to go about it? Here are a few ideas on how to get ahead as a beginner to this medieval... | Read more »
The WWE Comes to Racing Rivals - Because...
Racing Rivals is a racing game that's all about, well, rivalry. And who knows rivalry better than WWE superstars (shhhh, that was rhetorical)? [Read more] | Read more »
Hey, Who Put Apple Music in My SoundHoun...
One of the App Store's popular music discovery sources - SoundHound - has already been updated to include Apple's own music discovery source - Apple Music. That was fast! [Read more] | Read more »
Arcane Legends has a New Expansion Calle...
Arcane Legends has been going strong since it debuted at the tail end of 2012. So well, in fact, that it's already up to its sixth expansion. [Read more] | Read more »
Vector 2 is Officially a Thing and it...
Vector is a pretty cool parkour-driven runner that's gotten a pretty decent following since it first came out - although personally I think more people could stand to show it some love. Anyway, Nekki has announced that a sequel isofficially on its... | Read more »
Get Ready to Trucksform and Roll Out (an...
It looks like NuOxygen is bringing the truck-transforming racer Trucksform (get it?) to iOS in a couple of weeks. Although really it's more of an auto-driver than a racer. But still, transforming trucks! [Read more] | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps:June 22-26, 2015
June's Summer Journey Continues With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice,... | Read more »
LEGO® Minifigures Online (Games)
LEGO® Minifigures Online 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
World of Tanks Blitz celebrates its firs...
Today marks the first anniversary of the launch of World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile version of the PC tank battler, World of Tanks. World of Tanks Blitz launched on iOS and Android on June 26th last year and to celebrate, Wargaming is giving all... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Gray MacBook on sale for $1487...
Amazon.com has the new 12″ 1.2GHz Gray MacBook in stock and on sale for $1487 including free shipping. Their price is $102 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. We expect... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1819 including free shipping. Their price is $180 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
OtterBox Releases New Symmetry Series Metalli...
Otterbox’s new Symmetry Series of smartphone cases flaunts the best of both both street style and street smarts with their new metallic finishes and trusted OtterBox protection for iPhone 6 and... Read more
Eliminate Cable Chaos with New GE Branded Wra...
GE licensee Jasco Products has introduced a new line of GE branded Wrap-n-Charge USB wall chargers with built-in cable management. “We are always working to combine great technology with innovative... Read more
2015 13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sal...
B&H Photo has the new 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale today for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $75 off MSRP
Save up to $75 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ or 11″ 1.6GHz MacBook Air at the following resellers. Shipping is free with each model: 11" 128GB MSRP $899 11" 256GB... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* TV Live Streaming Frameworks Test En...
**Job Summary** Work and contribute towards the engineering of Apple 's state-of-the-art products involving video, audio, and graphics in Interactive Media Group (IMG) at Read more
Project Manager, WW *Apple* Fulfillment Ope...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
Senior Data Scientist, *Apple* Retail - Onl...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail - Online sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such as iPad Read more
*Apple* Music Producer - Apple (United State...
**Job Summary** Apple Music seeks a Producer to help shepherd some of the most important content and editorial initiatives within the music app, with a particular focus Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.