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October 13, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp has gone to Milpitas, California-based Quantum Corp to buy solid state secondary storage for its StorageWorks family of disk, optical and tape subsystems that it actually developed. Of course, had it not sold this technology, along with its disk drive, tape drive and thin film head businesses, to Quantum a year ago (CI No 2,452), it wouldn’t have had to go to the Californian to buy back its own solid state secondary storage so that it can offer storage for its own workstations and servers; Novell Inc and Windows NT environments; and Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc workstations and servers. However, DEC’s loss is Quantum’s gain and Quantum has just begun volume shipment of what is now called the Quantum ESP3000 and ESP5000 solid state secondary storage, albeit a little later than the company predicted it would have them on the market (CI No 2,530). The company has increased the bandwidth performance more than 600% over the previous DEC generation, which enables the systems to sustain the transfer of data to the limit of most Small Computer Systems Interface adaptors. It reckons the two families give near-instantaneous access – sub-100 microsecond – to data by eliminating the traditional seek and rotational latencies of magnetic disk. They also have a leading input-output request rate of up to 1,800 requests per second, a media transfer rate of 22Mb per second, and a sustained bandwidth of 8Mb per second and 16Mb per second. The ESP5000 family packs up to 950Mb in a 5.25 form factor, while the ESP3000 product line has 268Mb in a 3.5 package. Both come with Small Computer System Interface-2 and are being targetted at a wide range of systems, from personal computer to high-end servers, and high-performance minicomputers across multiple systems. They continuously copy data from the solid state arrays to an internal hard disk drive so that in the event of a power or system failure, data is protected. Evaluation unit prices of both the ESP5000 and the ESP3000, start at $8,500.

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