New VXA-172 starter model offers turn-key expandability from 172GB to 300GB
A new tape drive from Exabyte promises to ease the growing pains of the small company that one day realizes it has more data to back up than can fit on a single tape. The VXA-172, which Exabyte began shipping at the end of February, has the unique feature of being expandable. You can purchase a starter unit capped at 172GB (compressed), and later, when your mountain of data outstrips that capacity, you can buy a license to expand the capacity to 320GB. No need to buy new tape drives or jump to a new tape format.
Unleashing the additional capacity is a no-brainer. I started VXA Tool (a Windows application) on my server, typed the upgrade key received from Exabyte, and after rescanning for hardware changes I saw the VXA-320 replace the VXA-172 in Device Manager.
Before the upgrade, I ran various backups on X6 and X10 cartridges, formats that have a maximum compressed capacity of 80GB and 172GB, respectively. I was not able to use the larger X23 cartridge, however; the tape simply refused to load it. After the upgrade, in addition to the smaller cartridges, I was able to use the X23 and to take advantage of its 320GB capacity.
Upgrading a VXA-172 is not free, but the aggregate cost of the base drive plus the upgrade is about what you would pay for a VXA-320. Interestingly, the VXA-172 has the same transfer rate as a native VXA-320, which is an additional bonus.
If your backups span multiple cartridges, note that Exabyte is making available a similar upgrade option for its 1U PacketLoader, an autoloader that mounts a single VXA-172 drive and has room for 10 cartridges.
If the size of your backups hangs in that twilight zone where a DAT-72 is too small and an LTO is overkill, the Exabyte VXA-172 could be your best bet.
Exabyte VXA-172 Packet Tape Drive
Cost: Single drive, $699; update, $349; PacketLoader, $1699; update, $599
You may be better off sticking with Win7 or Win8.1, given a wide range of Win10 trade-offs and...
Those of you who signed up for the Windows 10 upgrade but changed your mind may be able to crawl out
New sources are stepping up questions about Oracle's stewardship of the Java development platform
Forget the sugarplums! Here are 10 unusual gadgets that any geek would love to see under the Christmas...
IT infrastructure is increasingly giving way to the cloud. Here's how to remain relevant in the years...
Having trouble installing and setting up Win10? You aren’t alone. Here are a dozen-plus of the most...
Tech recruiters say the darnedest things. How many of these cringeworthy pronouncements have you heard?...