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Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Storage vendors pleased with Comdex

Comdex Las Vegas 2003 may have been short in numbers of exhibitors and attendees, but it did bring out a large contingent of storage vendors, both on-site and off-site, showing a variety of products mainly for the small- and midsize-business space.

Hewlett-Packard and Plasmon unveiled optical drives and optical jukeboxes based on the Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology the two co-developed.

UDO arrives in time to meet the booming need for storage media on which to archive information for long periods of time due to regulatory and compliance issues, said Dave Dupont, vice president of marketing at Plasmon, which is making the drives. Instead of storing such data on tape or hard disk, where it needs to be migrated to new technology every few years, UDO disks have an expected life of 50 years, he said.

Initial capacity of UDO media when it ships in quantity will be 30 Gbytes per disk, said Dupont. This will be bumped up to 60 Gbytes in 2005 and 120 Gbytes in 2007, he said.

Plasmon and HP both plan to offer jukeboxes to their channel partners through distributors such as Optical Laser, NewWave, Tech Data, Cranel and Bell Micro. In addition, more than 25 ISVs already support the new format.

Iomega also showed its new REV removable hard drives, expected to be available in March. Each cartridge has up to 35 Gbytes of capacity and its own motor inside to prevent contamination from dust, said Troy Davidson, chief software architect. Data transfer rate is 18 MBps on the average, allowing it to both replace tape and serve as a boot drive if a system crashes.

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