This is an old archive page of HWZ prior to revamp. Please visit HWZ for the latest reviews and news.


» News

Imation Launches World's First 'Disk-As-Tape' Media Cartridge
Optical Storage | Just Announced
Tue 04 Oct 2005

OAKDALE, Minn., Oct. 3 -- Imation Corp announced its new Ulysses technology -- the first disk-enhanced removable media cartridge. The Ulysses solution was developed to radically accelerate tape automation by integrating a hard disk drive (HDD) into a standard tape cartridge form factor for deployment in any tape library environment.

The new technology addresses the needs of tape users looking for a disk- to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) solution to improve restore time without having to adopt a complex new system or invest in hardware or software modifications. And a Ulysses-equipped library can restore files up to 10 times faster than a tape-only library.

"Today's environments demand multi-level data protection. Users want to shrink their backup windows and quickly recover critical data when they want it, without a lot of complexity or additional expense," said Dianne McAdam, senior analyst and partner, Data Mobility Group. "Ulysses is the first technology to combine the benefits of tape -- low cost and portability -- with the backup and recovery speeds of disk."

Ulysses is a Serial ATA (SATA) 2.5-inch disk drive in an LTO Ultrium cartridge form factor. Used with the Ulysses tape drive emulator, this disk- enhanced removable media accelerates backup and restore performance and resides within an existing tape library. The emulator fits in any standard tape drive bay and is recognized by the host, backup software and storage management software as a standard tape drive.

The Ulysses technology can be simply integrated into a legacy tape environment -- delivering the performance of disk at almost the same cost as tape. Other key benefits include:

-- Value -- users' previous investment in automated tape libraries is extended
-- Gradual implementation -- there is no need to buy all the storage capacity up front
-- Low complexity and scalability
-- Very flexible configurations -- easily changed by inserting or removing tape and Ulysses drives
-- No training required -- looks to independent software vendor (ISV) software as a tape drive, so there are no changes to the backup processes
-- Very easy to tune/load balance the systems -- by adding more drives
-- Scalable -- since cartridges are removable, storage can be easily, quickly and inexpensively increased without requiring more floor space.
-- Simple backups -- backups can be written to a Ulysses drive then migrated using existing ISV software to high capacity tape later for disaster recovery or long term retention
-- Environmentally friendly -- disk cartridges do not use power when they are idle
-- Support -- Imation and its partners are well-established companies that understand the backup environment and media business

"We believe the Ulysses solution enhances the performance of tape by allowing businesses to realize the high speed performance benefits of disk without experiencing the high costs of forklift disk-to-disk upgrades. Because it can easily be integrated into current tape library systems, the Ulysses solution provides users with a less expensive alternative," said James Ellis, general manager, Global Product Strategy at Imation Corp. "The removability, portability and unlimited storage capacity of the Ulysses technology, combined with the benefit of high-speed backup and restores, makes it a truly groundbreaking technology for small to mid-sized businesses."

Because the Ulysses tape drive emulator emulates an LTO drive and the Ulysses media has the same form factor as LTO Ultrium cartridges, users can simply "drop in" the Ulysses cartridge into the existing automated tape environment with no changes to floor space, wiring, cooling or other infrastructure challenges.

Imation's Ulysses technology will be generally available in 2006. Product pricing and additional information on the Ulysses solution is expected in Q4 2005. For more information, go to