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Fujitsu Siemens says bye-bye to VXA

While Infortrend says hello to 2.5-inch RAID

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SNW The storage side of Fujitsu Siemens Computers has given VXA tape the heave-ho, dumping it in favour of LTO.

The company has brought out two new models in its FibreCAT range of storage systems, aimed at SMEs. While the FibreCAT SX88 disk box is mostly a faster version of its predecessor, the TX08 backup system represents a complete change of technology.

Out goes the midrange VXA format - formerly Exabyte and now owned by Tandberg - and in comes an autoloader with either an LTO-2 or LTO-3 drive.

VXA was one of a bunch of midrange tape technologies that hung around because LTO was seen as a large enterprise format that was too expensive for SMEs - others included Sony's AIT and, of course, DDS-DAT.

Now though, there's no reason for smaller companies not to standardise on LTO, especially with the availability of half-height models, claimed Fujitsu Siemens marketeer Marcus Schneider.

"LTO is developing to be the major standard - the drive is more expensive, but the media is cheaper and the automation cost is much the same."

He added that there's nothing wrong with VXA, it simply lost out to the market muscle of LTO - and to the inability of Exabyte, Sony, and others to co-operate on a tape standard for the low end.

Also at SNW Frankfurt, Infortrend announced what it claimed is the industry's first external RAID subsystem to use 2.5-inch SFF (small form factor) SAS drives.

This mighty mini uses laptop-like technology to pack up to 12 spindles and a RAID controller into a 1U "pizza-box". It's especially aimed at I/O-intensive apps where the extra spindles can come into play, such as webservers, said Infortrend technical director Alex Young. ®

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