Backups at warp speed

HP StorageWorks Ultrium 960 LTO-3 tape drive satisfies the need for speed

Think tape drives are boring? Take a look at Hewlett-Packard’s StorageWorks Ultrium 960, a single-drive unit based on LTO (Linear Tape Open)-3. HP was second to Certance in the year-end rush to launch faster, more capacious LTO-3 devices, but the speed of the Ultrium 960 has no rivals.

Boasting a native transfer rate of 80MBps, LTO-3 nearly doubles the speed of LTO-2, the previous generation of LTO technology. LTO-3 also outstrips competing tape standard SuperDLT and leaves even the fastest disk drives (50MBps to 60MBps at best) in the dust. Throw in 2-to-1 compression, and LTO-3 drives can achieve a practical transfer rate of 160MBps, a dizzying pace.

LTO-3 is so speedy, I had to run backups from multiple LUNs (logical unit numbers) to find out just how fast the Ultrium 960 could go. Using a total of 16 volumes, spread across two storage arrays, each containing 14 fast drives spinning at 15,000 rpm, I ran full backups of nearly 320GB of typical user files using HP OpenView Data Protector, starting with one and increasing to four, eight, and finally all 16 volumes simultaneously. True to its promise, the Ultrium 960 kept pace with the server as it fed the data faster and faster.

Running parallel, compressed backups of the 16 volumes, the Ultrium 960 clocked more than 130MBps, crunching 315GB of data in 41 minutes. No other tape drive I have seen could come close to that; an LTO-2 drive would have taken twice as long. With a native capacity of approximately 400GB per cartridge, the Ultrium 960 can also reduce media swap time.

Multiply the Ultrium 960’s performance by the number of tape drives in your library, and you will find that backing up to a reel is not passé. You simply need faster tape drives, such as the HP StorageWorks Ultrium 960, and the bigger LTO-3 tapes.

HP StorageWorks Ultrium 960

Hewlett Packard

Cost: Starts at $5,549

Ship Date: Now

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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