EMC measures ADIC for tape rescue

StorageTek laughs off lack of culture

Broken CD with wrench

EMC caused a stir last week when it agreed to resell tape libraries from ADIC. First and foremost, there was some industry shock to see EMC pick up tape in such full force after all these years extolling the virtue of disk. Secondly, EMC drew harsh words from ADIC's tape rival StorageTek.

Next month, EMC will begin selling ADIC's Scalar tape libraries. Being a politically correct firm, ADIC has also agreed to offer EMC's Clariion systems as part of its Pathlight VX combination tape/disk offering.

Why the sudden tape embrace?

Well, EMC claims that low-cost tape will play a key role in its ILM (Information Life cycle Management) plans. Customers were apparently asking for a non-disk option to round out their tiered storage architectures. EMC has sold a Quantum tape system as part of a larger storage package but did not offer standalone libraries , until it reached terms with ADIC. That's mostly because EMC executives spent a lot of their time emphasizing tape's demise in favor of ever-cheaper, faster disk.

Putting the tape-hating in the past, EMC will now resell the Scalar 24, Scalar 100, Scalar i2000 and Scalar 10K models with LTO tape drives. ADIC, however, will actually ship the systems to EMC customers and handle support.

Self-proclaimed ILM pioneer StorageTek found EMC's tape reversal more than amusing. "Thank you EMC - you have now endorsed our strategy of classifying, managing and moving information across a foundation of tiered storage based upon its purpose and value - which we call enterprise information lifecycle management," said Mark Ward, StorageTek's vice president and general manager, of Information Lifecycle Management Solutions Group. "With this announcement, EMC recognizes that tape is an essential element to this strategy, and sophisticated customers will consider StorageTek for their tape libraries."

Is there anything finer than a vendor elevating the tape drive discussion to a debate over customer sophistication? ®

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