DataCore

BDT Implements LTO-6

Into tape automation products
By Jean-Jacques Maleval on 2013.01.01

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BDT Media Automation GmbH implements the new tape standard LTO-6 in its storage devices to increase capacity as well as write and read speeds of tapes.

bdt_lto6

With this offer BDT meets the market requirements in regards of increasing data volumes.

"We see additional growth potential in the area of high volume data storage", explains Rolf Ritter, CEO of BDT and complements: "Thanks to our longstanding experience and cooperation with the IT industry we are able to recognize trends at an early stage and to offer innovative developments."

It is estimated that the worldwide amount of data will double every second year.

The large IT companies launch every two to three years a new standard in tape storage on the market together with developers such as BDT. With each market launch the capacity of tapes and the data transfer rate doubles or grows at least by 50%. As OEM developer BDT sells corresponding data storage systems to nearly all leading IT companies that on the other hand offer this technology under their own brand and name as long-term data protection and archiving solution.

"Tape remains one of the most reasonable and reliable solutions for long-term storage of data", explains Ritter.

The tape technology is used by all large IT manufacturers. New developments in this area will be certified by an international consortium BDT takes part of.

"This ensures a long-term and direct market access for us", complements Ritter.

The introduction of a new tape format for archiving and storage of data sees BDT as additional growth potential. The so called LTFS format enables it to directly connect a tape drive with an OS. Users can store data via drag & drop to tape media for the first time.

"With the increase in capacity and performance of LTO-6 and the simplification of the usability and operability of LTFS the importance of tape grows for long-term data protection", emphasizes Ritter and complements: "The LTFS technology will open op completely new application possibilities and products we already develop today. Low costs, higher data security as well as energy efficiency are only some of the advantages."

As technology partner and partner of the IT industry, BDT benefits from these developments on the market.

Our Comments

Founded in 1967 in Rottweil, Germany, BDT starts in paper handling and then ventured in autoloader in 1989, at the beginning for DLT, now for RDX and LTO.

The RDStor, launched in 2011, is a RDX autoloader for 8 HDDs or SSDs incorporated into a 2U NAS.

In tape, BDT is principally in autoloader (only one drive) but has extended its line with libraries with a maximum of 96 media and 2 full-height or 4 half-height drives.

The company estimates its worldwide market share at 60% for autoloaders and 75% for small libraries.

The manufacturer  does not sell not to the channel or end users, essentially to OEMs (Fujitsu, Oracle/Sun, Dell, IBM, Spectra Logic, Quantum, Overland, Imation.)

It tried to enter in 2007 into all-in-one D2D2T backup and archiving appliance (Gingcom) and then in email management appliances (Reddoxx) but these activities seem to be completely stopped.

The only segment of the tape automation industry with a chance of growing is for the high-end long-term archiving market where the price/GB of tape can compete with HDD. That's why BDT is supposed to launch next year a new robotics with 80 to 256 slots, containing 21 FH or 42 HH LTO drives. In development is also NAXtor, an appliance with hardware and software for a combination of NAS, RAID and autoloader for the cloud.

Revenue of the German firm with 600 employees was €125.4 million in 2011 including €63.7 for storage automation, the remaining in printer modules and paper handling, with global net of €1.5 million. For the first six month of 2012, sales amounted €58.2 million.

These last years, the company is shrinking. In 2005, revenue was €148 million and it had 680 people.

BDT needs to finance R&D for new storage products. That's why it is just issuing bonds for €30 million at a rate of 8,125 % from 2012 to 2017.

It would be better for the investors to wait for the result of an event that could have huge financial consequences on the company: a current action filed by Overland vs. BDT for patent infringement.
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