I'm not planning on taking the discussion offlist, though I've had a 
few responses offlist, and those have recommended Ecrix or AIT, so 
those are the leading contenders.

My boss is really leery of Ecrix, no matter how much I push it. She's 
worried that, should something happen to the company in two years or 
so (since they're the only one doing this kind of tape/drive now), we 
won't have the $$ in our budget to purchase a whole new system. I 
keep working on her. :)

At 12:56 PM -0500 1/24/01, Tim David wrote:
>I can't speak for everyone but I hope you keep this discussion on the list. If
>it does happen to go off-line, I would greatly appreciate a copy of the final
>There was a thread that went around a couple of months ago with price
>comparisons for all of these different media types (including hardware and
>media) but I'm sure it's already outdated.  The VXA drive from Ecrix looked
>like it had potential for a smaller setup due to it's price of drives and
>media. The media also looks very reliable according to the material on their
>web site.  I am currently using DLT and it gets a little expensive to stay as
>redundant as I would like to be.  I've noticed that Ecrix is coming out with
>larger tape libraries, Does anyone think that will make it a more viable
>solution or is AIT still the way to go?
>Stephen Jones wrote:
>>  I would have to say AIT.  Sony pulled the plug on the proposed DDS-5 so I
>>  wouldn't suggest that line at all (end of product life).  Also, DAT drives
>>  have 1/5th the head life expectancy (10,000 hours instead of AIT's 50,000
>>  hours).
>>  DLT would definitely be better than DAT but is faced with the same situation
>>  as 4mm.  The current best DLT is the 8000 series.  It's 40GB uncompressed by
>>  6MB/second.  The Gen I version of the upcoming SuperDLT will *NOT* be
>>  backward compatible.  Are you prepared to purchase something that will not
>>  work with the very next version of the hardware?
>>  AIT, also made by Sony, gives you two choices (AIT-1 and AIT-2).  AIT-1
>>  (35GB/3MB/second uncompressed) inside a library costs less than $4500 and
>>  holds 525GB uncompressed.  AIT-2 is 50GB by 6MB/second (and is considerably
>>  less than a DLT library - it's also self-cleaning, DLT is not).
>>  AIT-2 is backward compatible (read and write) with AIT-1.  You could start
>>  with AIT-1 and upgrade to AIT-2 in the future should you need more capacity
>>  and speed -- and use the very same library chassis.
>>  AIT-3 (100GB by 12MB/second) is due out later this year and is backward
>>  compatible with AIT-1 and 2.  When AIT-4 hits the street two years form now
>>  (a proposed 200GB by 24MB/second), it too will be backward compatible with
>>  all previous AIT generations.
>>  DLT, up to a couple years ago, was definitely king of the hill.  But in the
>>  game of technology, no one stands paramount indefinitely.  AIT has
>>  definitely become more popular -- with a roadmap to larger/faster drives
>>  while remaining backward compatible.  I was surprised to hear the news that
>>  DLT could not offer backward compatibility with their upcoming SuperDLT
>>  drive.  We have many DLT customers who will not be able to upgrade.  In
>>  fact, because of that, a lot of our DLT customers have moved to AIT.
>>  Please feel free to contact me with any tech questions, I have been a
>>  storage engineer for ten years and work with all formats daily.
>>  All the best!
>>  Steve

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