Mammoth-2 automates data storage

Exabyte Corp.’s new Mammoth-2 (M2) automated storage products include the company’s NetStorM Library Monitor Software free, which one analyst said sets the line apart from other storage products.

“They have thought beyond just the drive, which is very important,” said Bob Amatruda, a senior research analyst with IDC in Framingham, Mass. “They’ve thought about integration and solutions and this whole notion of the burgeoning storage-attached network, and what the architecture will look like. They’re using Mammoth-2 as a building block for SANs, and with their NetStorM initiative, they’re working on things like connectivity and interoperability amongst servers and operating systems.”

The larger two of the Mammoth-2 set – the X80 and X200 models – will also add SAN-readiness with native fibre to the drive as of April 2000, according to Tim Weir, senior product manager for Exabyte’s Storage Automation and Solutions Division in Boulder, Colo.

Weir said the fibre does not yet extend to the tape library itself and won’t until September or October of this year, but explained that a CrossRoads router housed in the X80 and X200 models serves to simulate a fibre connection in the meantime.

Amatruda said competitors will release their fibre drives soon as well, but by delivering sooner, Exabyte is in a good competitive position.

“When you think in terms of the M2’s integration into SANs, [fibre] is a must,” Amatruda said.

The X80 features up to eight drives and 80 tape slots for a possible capacity of 12TB and a transfer rate up to 864GB per hour. It has a half-rack footprint, allowing two units per rack, according to Weir.

The X200 enterprise-class model can hold up to 10 drives and 200 tape slots. It boasts a capacity of up to 30TB at a transfer rate up to 1TB per hour.

Two smaller models are geared to the small- and medium-sized markets: the EZ17 with one drive and seven cartridges, and the 220, with one or two drives and 20 cartridges.

“The EZ17 is a first step for those companies where someone has to stay late to run the backup,” said Weir. “People can be more aggressive in putting things on tape instead of leaving data on disk for 30 days.”

The M2 benefits over Exabyte’s older M1 system go beyond mere automation, Weir said. The new 225m tapes include a cleaning portion on the first two metres. Since that means every tape is able to clean the drives, Weir said it is no longer necessary to take up a cartridge slot with a full cleaning tape.

The M2 line is backward compatible to the M1 tapes.

Customers who purchased M1 products between May 1999 and March 2000 can get a free upgrade to M2 simply by exchanging the drive. Weir explained the old drive must be sent back to Exabyte to avoid being charged for the new one.

List pricing for the M2 line base models is $54,349 for the X200, $47,720 for the X80, $23,359 for the 220 and $11,527 for the EZ17.

Exabyte in Boulder, Colo., is at 1-800-774-7172 or on-line at