Imation has introduced a novel data-storage product that incorporates a hard-disk drive inside a standard 4x4x1-inch data cartridge.
These cartridges, which normally are loaded with half-inch-wide high-performance computer tape, are universally used for data storage and data archiving in larger companies, government offices, and for many special applications. Imation is the manufacturer and distributor of these tape-loaded cartridges, which have capacities from 40 to 500GB at this time. Replacing the tape in these standardized cartridges with a hard-disk drive introduces a degree of versatility that should attract many users.
Imation calls its new cartridge system "Ulysses". The system includes an emulator that can be integrated into any tape library, and makes the disk-containing cartridge appear to the overall system as just another tape drive. The hard-drive employed is a SATA 2.5-inch unit, with a presumed capacity of about 80GB. The main benefit here is the rapid backup and recover speeds the hard disk can provide, speeds up to ten times those possible with tape-based cartridge drives. With disk-to-disk backup becoming increasingly commonplace in data-storage applications, the Ulysses system allows users to introduce the speed benefits of disk storage into existing libraries, with little need for modification, adjustment, or change in overall operating parameters.
Pricing and further details will be announced before the end of 2005, with introduction in 2006.