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

Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »
Hatoful Boyfriend (Games)
Hatoful Boyfriend 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The hit PC game that everybirdie loves has now migrated to your mobile device! Now you are free to explore the wonders of St... | Read more »
Warp Shift (Games)
Warp Shift 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: [ CHECK YOUR HARDWARE: Warp Shift does NOT run on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G or older devices! It requires at least iOS8... | Read more »
Lifeline: Whiteout (Games)
Lifeline: Whiteout 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Alone in a frozen wasteland with no memory of how he got there, a lost adventurer’s only hope is his last line of... | Read more »
Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Games)
Castles of Mad King Ludwig 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
How to command and conquer in Raid HQ
Raid HQ is a satisfyingly deep base building game with over-the-top macho action and explosions. This little free to play bundle gives you a lot to do from managing a squad to building the most powerful base you possibly can. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
SnipNotes 2.0 – Intelligent note-taking for i...
Indie software developer Felix Lisczyk has announced the release and immediate availability of SnipNotes 2.0, the next major version of his productivity app for iOS devices and Apple Watch.... Read more
Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman Laun...
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Skunk Tank has announced the release and immediate availability of Pitch Clock – The Entrepreneur’s Wingman 1.1, the company’s new business app available exclusively on... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more

Jobs Board

Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.