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  1. Technology
October 7, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Comparex Informationssysteme GmbH has enhanced its 6388 Automatic Cartridge Library with new hardware components and software modules. The library, launched two years ago, is claimed to rank second in Europe by number of installations, and it is regarded by Comparex as superior to Storage Technology Corp’s offering largely because it revolves rather than running on rails. The main enhancements include new static storage units, a standard interface for operation under VM or VM/VSE and MAPS host software. Every cartridge storage unit consists of a base frame with 90 double holders that accomodate two 3480-type cartridges, enabling each unit to offer a capacity of 360 cartridges. The library can be configured in one of three different ways, so that installations can operate with static units only, with both static and rotating units or with rotating units only. Installations with two 6390 B04 cartridge tape drives and using only static units range in capacity from 1,080 to 2,880 cartridges, while 120 additional cartridges can be handled directly from the input output unit, providing a maximum capacity of 3,000. The new software interface enables the library to operate under MVS, VM and VM/VSE or in a mixed MVS and VM environment. MAPS, Mainframe Automated Peripherals Support, is a host software product for MVS/JES2 and MVS/JES3 installations that controls allocation directing. Comparex claims about 90 installations and looks to pass the century by the end of the year. Also, Comparex has announced its response to IBM Corp’s new 34Gb 3390, the 6490-3, launched by Hitachi Data Systems as the 7390-3 (CI No 1,763). It offers up to 34Gb in a single cabinet and the incorporation of additional cylinders is said to provide 1.5 times the capacity of the 6490-2 while retaining a capacity of 56,664 bytes per track. The new model has an average seek time of 12.5mS while the rotational speed and data transfer are unaltered at 4,260rpm and 4.2Mb per second respectively. It will be available for the second quarter next year. The 6490-3 costs between UKP5 and UKP6 per Megabyte, and a fully configured 6388 is around UKP1 per Megabyte. Bargain basement pricing that suggests disk suppliers have to sell phenomenal amounts of storage just to stand still.

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