Quantum/ATL Announces Multi-Switch Fabric Compatibility

Disk-drive maker Quantum/ATL, based in Irving, Calif., has announced that its P3000 and P6000 DLT tape libraries are the first to provide log-on capabilities needed for multi-switch fabrics in large data centers or metropolitan area networks. The new capabilities allow large corporations with complex SANs (storage area networks) comprising multiple servers to consolidate storage on a single P3000 or P6000 library. And the enhancement maintains previous compatibility with Fibre Channel loop configurations as a public loop device for customers who have not yet switched to SANs.

ATL is calling its multi-switch fabric compatibility a "breakthrough" in the large-scale switched fabrics arena. It's easy to see why. Storage consolidation can simplify data management and reduce costs, but until now, it has presented difficulties. Tape libraries have been unable to function across large SANs that connect multiple servers and provide high levels of data availability.

"A tape library that is fully fabric-compatible, such as the P3000 and P6000, provides direct-attached data access for Fibre Channel-based storage area networks," Peter Tarrant, vice president of marketing and business development of BROCADE, said in a statement. BROCADE supplies the Fibre Channel fabric switches for the P3000 and P6000.

To provide the new capabilities, ATL uses a 24-bit address with a unique World-Wide Name. That allows the ATL tape libraries to take part in a switched fabric network, including a cascaded, multi-level fabric that provides multiple data pathways for a fault-tolerant SAN.

ATL has completed testing with the BROCADE SilkWorm 2400 Fibre Channel fabric switch using Qlogic, JNI, and Emulex host adapters with both Windows NT and Sun Solaris hosts. The company will, together with BROCADE, continue to pre-test and certify hardware and software configurations for customers.