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Wednesday, May 15, 2002
SONY AIT DRIVES AND MEDIA TO INCLUDE WRITE-ONCE FUNCTIONALITY FOR SECURE ELECTRONIC DATA STORAGE


Sony Electronics today announced that its new second- and third-generation Advanced Intelligent Tape™ (AIT) drives will incorporate write-once-read-many (WORM) recording functionality. Beginning in July, new AIT-2 and AIT-3 drives and specially marked corresponding AIT media will allow for non-rewritable, non-erasable electronic data storage, in addition to delivering AIT's traditional superior core technology benefits.

With the added WORM capabilities, Sony's AIT-2 and AIT-3 drives and media can limit accidental or intentional erasure of data, enable time and date authentication, and facilitate quick search and retrieval of archived files for a variety of organizations required to provide extra security protection for their stored data.

Sony's new WORM drives will be multifunctional, fully supporting both AIT-2 and AIT-3 rewritable cartridges, as well as AIT-2 and AIT-3 WORM media. Once recorded, AIT WORM media cannot be re-written or re-formatted, but data can be appended to the end of previously recorded information. Additionally, all current AIT drives, including WORM-enhanced versions, have media read/write backward compatibility with previous generations for scalability and investment protection.

"By building WORM functionality into all future AIT-2 and AIT-3 drives and media, we're helping our customers address the additional data protection requirements imposed by governmental agencies and certain commercial applications," said John Woelbern, director of OEM tape storage solutions marketing for Sony Electronics' Business Systems and Solutions Company.

"AIT WORM drives offer advanced data security in a compact 3.5-inch form-factor and at a price per Gigabyte that is lower than most other alternatives. They're desirable products for those storing financial, securities, government, medical and insurance data and provide true value differentiation from other tape formats in the market," Woelbern added.

Sony AIT WORM products are designed to meet the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) regulatory safety, security and integrity requirements for electronic storage media systems. As a result, Woelbern said that they are an ideal storage solution for users such as financial institutions, federal agencies and firms that desire an extra level of protection for their archived data.

E-mail record archiving and surveillance applications are expected to be the initial drivers for AIT WORM. In fact, an SEC regulation mandates that brokerage and investment firms preserve various records for at least six years in digital storage, including daily e-mail purchase and sale orders and transaction confirmations.

"Our medical, video, pre-press, and security systems integrators will undoubtedly find this new wave of secure tape storage products from Sony a welcome and beneficial addition to their archival storage solution," said Bob Covey, vice president of marketing for Qualstar Corporation in Simi Valley, Calif. "Sony's AIT WORM drives fill a discernible void in the archival storage market and will prove to be a natural extension to our popular AIT tape library family."

"There has been a strong demand for write-once storage solutions from our users and prospects, who deal with critical customer information including e-mail, financial statements, and other vital business information," said John Burgess, CTO and vice president for FileTek, Inc., a Maryland-based data management solutions provider. "FileTek is pleased to support, with our StorHouse® software, Sony's new AIT multi-functional WORM drives and media. These new products will allow companies to economically meet their enterprise-level storage needs, as well as to comply with government mandates for record storing."

Sony Technology Enables Advanced Security Features

New Sony AIT drives will include special firmware to control the WORM functionality with the use of compatible AIT WORM media.

AIT WORM media, with an up to 30-year archival life, is identified with an easy-to-see, bright red cover and a special graphics design and logotype that is stamped onto the AME cartridge.

The WORM solution also uses Sony's innovative Remote Memory-in-Cassette (R-MIC) drive interface system, and a special AIT Advanced Metal Evaporated (AME) media cartridge, to ensure positive media recognition, as well as to provide the traditional advantages of superior media loading and file access times.

Sony AIT-2 technology delivers up to a 50GB native (130GB compressed) capacity and 6MB/s native (15MB/s compressed) sustained data transfer rates. AIT-3 technology features 100GB native (260GB compressed) capacity per cassette and a 12MB/s native (31MB/s compressed) transfer rate (both based on 2.6:1 ALDC compression).

In addition to providing WORM features, all AIT-2 and AIT-3 drives will continue to provide backward compatibility for both WORM and traditional, rewritable AME media. Existing AIT-2 and AIT-3 drives that do not support the WORM feature will eject the WORM media. Applications that do not require WORM capability can use standard rewritable AIT media in these drives.

Pricing and Availability

Sony plans to begin shipping AIT-2 WORM drives to OEMs beginning in June and AIT-3 WORM drives starting in July. Sony intends to align initial OEM pricing for the AIT-2 and AIT-3 WORM drives with its current AIT-2 and AIT-3 drive pricing. AIT-2 and AIT-3 WORM media are expected to be priced slightly higher than standard AIT-2 and AIT-3 media.


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