BCC Unloads Storage Enhancements

Using the 1998 Fall Common Conference and Expo as its launch pad, BCC Technologies (Irvine, Calif.) announced an armada of new storage solutions that target a large segment of the midrange tape storage market. These solutions address a variety of system sizes and functions, from low-end Model 150 and Model 170 backup to tape library management and controller utilization.

BCC external tape drives can now attach to both the Model 170 and 150 via Multi-Function Input-Output Processor (MFIOP), according to David Breisacher, president of BCC Technologies. This connection is accomplished by attaching a short SCSI cable to the back of either server model.

Hailed for its low cost and high scalability, one chink in the 170’s armor has been the disproportionately high cost of attaching an external tape drive to the system. BCC’s external tape drives – including DLT7000, AIT, Mammoth, MLR3, MLR1 and 8 mm models – can now attach to a Model 170, enabling users to avoid the expense of adding IBM feature codes 7101 and 2729.

These feature codes represent an expansion unit and a SCSI attachment card, respectively, that combine for a cost of $4,300. For costs ranging from approximately $3,545 – for 8mm – and $14,275 – for DLT7000 – Model 170 users can back up between 7 GB and 105 GB in unattended mode at transfer rates ranging from 1 MBps up to 5 MBps.

Scaling down even further, BCC also announced that its line of external tape drives now attach to the AS/400e Model 150 via MFIOP, achieving native capacities ranging from 7 GB up to 35 GB, with transfer rates between 1 MBps and 5 MBps. This offering was designed to accommodate Model 150 users requiring more than the existing 4 GB cartridge capacity and 400 KBps transfer rate of the server’s internal tape drive, according to John Gimpl, VP of BCC Technologies.

On the high-end of enterprise backup, BCC also unveiled 6 TB and 9 TB Maxback libraries for large-capacity, near-online storage and data archive applications. Whereas the largest of five models in the 6 TB family supports up to four DLT7000 tape drives and 60 tape cartridges, the largest of seven models in the 9 TB family is designed to support up to six AIT or Mammoth tapes drives and 120 tape cartridges. List prices for the 6 TB family range from $20,285 for the smallest library up to $87,400 for a fully-populated, 60-cartridge, four-drive library. The 9 TB Maxback library ranges in price from $14,500 for the smallest library up to $78,500 for a fully-populated, 120-cartridge, six-drive library.

Other high-capacity automated tape libraries introduced by BCC include: two new AIT models that save up to 600 GB of data at a transfer rate of up to 64 GB per hour; the MLR3 series of tape drives based on quarter-inch Multi-Linear Recording (MLR3) technology; and the NCTP tape family, which consists of NCTP-T single drive configuration, NCTP-7 seven-cartridge library; NCTP-14 fourteen-cartridge library, and the NCTP-21 cartridge library.

Other storage solution components announced at COMMON include new Condor, Eagle and Hawk tape controllers. BCC designed the Condor to interface specifically with IBM’s 3590 tape drive, allowing users to perform striping, mirroring and offline copying, Breisacher says. The Eagle and Hawk controllers attach to BCC’s AIT, DLT7000, Mammoth, MLR3 and 8 mm tape drives and libraries. While the Eagle controller attaches to dual drive and library configurations, the Hawk attaches to single-drive configurations.

BCC also recently announced that its SCATS (Smart Concurrent Automated Tape Software) can perform an IBM Option 21 save, backing up the SAVSYS, NONSYS, DLO and SAV parameters of an entire system unattended in concurrent mode, according to Breisacher. Because SCATS automatically allocates libraries to every available tape drive in equal amounts, AS/400 users can improve transfer rates by adding additional tape drives.