Feeds

Sony's Super AIT - a fall from grace

Reorg slices through tape format's future

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Betamax and VHS wars all over again

Nick Smith, a Sony marketing manager, said it was like Betamax and VHS all over again, and the best product lost - again. SAIT2 was launched in 2005 with 800GB capacity but SAIT3, the next step in the SAIT road, never came. LTO-4 came along with its matching 800GB in 2007 and the LTO roadmap had generations 5 and 6 pegged in, whereas the SAIT roadmap had effectively halted. That was the beginning of the end.

Smith says Sony privately conceded the point and has begun supporting LTO in its customer base: "As of the last 18 months we've supported both LTO and SAIT in our archive products and people can migrate from SAIT to LTO."

The effective ending of the SAIT roadmap and the positioning of SAIT-2 as the last SAIT generation doesn't mean Sony is not supporting SAIT. Customers are still being supported and can expect to have that support continue. But they should realise that SAIT has entered the start of its end-of-life phase and plan for a future in which higher capacity tape cartridges will only come from LTO-5.

Nick Smith said more about continuing SAIT2 support: "Our policy is that we will support SAIT2 drives and systems up to seven years after [the] end of life date. For SAIT2 this has not been set - in fact we already know that we will be offering SAIT2 solutions throughout 2009, so customers are safe until 2016."

The current examination of the Sony Electronics business unit has not begun with advance notice of product stoppages. David Bush, Sony's EMEA marketing director for its Professional business unit, said: "We have no information about any changes to product plans. It's business as usual... All businesses are being vigorously looked at. We're at the start of a process and I don't know, frankly, what the outcome will be."

Inside Sony Electronics the Sony Professional business unit is actually having a quite good year. Bush said: "It's performing strongly and growing year-on-year. I'm not expecting any major changes in any of our business domains."

Hard times make for hard choices, and in many markets a volume leader product wins out over other products that may have technical advantages. Sony has been hit twice with this hammer: Betamax losing out to VHS video tape, and now AIT/SAIT giving way to DAT and LTO magnetic tape.

Blu-ray is another story, with the only competitor - Toshiba's HD-DVD - trounced, and Plasmon's UDO looking very sick indeed. Blu-ray got the volume via PlayStation sales and that proved key. That optical format is Sony's Blu-ray of hope in the data storage business. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.