Sony E1300 tape drive sates hunger for large servings of storage
SAIT technology and WORM capabilities strong selling points for pricey storage solutionFollow @infoworld
Naturally, twice the capacity comes at an understandably higher price. In fact, the $12,600 retail price for the e1300 is more than twice that of a single Quantum SDLT600 drive. But this interesting drive from Sony offers more than just great capacity and performance: It boasts WORM capability.
SAIT WORM technology prevents erasure of tape contents via a combination of special drive firmware (older drives are upgradable) and dedicated cartridges (slightly more expensive than ordinary SAIT cartridges). In essence, you can write multiple files to a WORM cartridge but cannot delete or alter the contents. Demonstrable WORM capability can be a lifesaver when a judge demands proof that data has not been tampered with. Currently, IBM, Quantum, Sony, and StorageTek offer WORM capabilities in their offerings.
Updating the firmware of my e1300 to the WORM-enabled version was easy: I obtained the new code, which is free, and a diagnostic application from Sony. After a few quick and simple steps, my tape drive was capable of creating both erasable backups on normal cartridges and protected backups on WORM cartridges.
After updating the drive, I ran similar backups and restores on the WORM media and witnessed no measurable difference in performance. All my attempts to format, erase, or rewrite WORM cartridges were, as expected, unsuccessful.
At the end of my evaluation I have only praise for the technical characteristics of SAIT, but suggesting a typical user target for this unique technology is challenging. In fact, price locates those units in a spot between high-end enterprise units from IBM and StorageTek and midtier solutions such as SDLT and LTO. Nevertheless, Sony has often compared SAIT to the latter technologies, a dichotomy that can be confusing.
Yet customers who need the exceptional features of SAIT won’t be confused. If your business requires archiving an ocean of data or preserving data against tampering, you won’t find more capacious or reliable vessels than Sony SAIT tape drives.