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“Mr. DLT” George Saliba Has Its Own Company

Saliba Technologies, in products related to tapes

One key person was behind DLT or SuperDLT longitudinal tape technology: George Saliba.

His work began at DEC, the first drive being in 1985 the Mako 2.6 (3) at 2.6GB capacity with a transfer rate of 800KB/s at a price of $2,695. When Quantum, at this time essentially an HDD maker, acquired the DEC disk drive business in 1994 for $360 million, it was obliged to get this tape activity that was in the basket and Saliba moved to Quantum.

DLT finally was a huge success for the company that sold its entire HDD business to Maxtor in 2000. Quantum completely beats Exabyte – with its helical scan 8mm tape drives – and dominates the market for years. But it never wanted to offer its proprietary format to anyone and there was no second source for the drives. Furthermore tape media manufacturers were obliged to pay comfortable royalties. It was a big error as OEMs hate that.

Consequently, the two biggest forces and main buyers in the tape market, IBM and HP, decided with Seagate to form a consortium for a new technology in November 1997, LTO, derived from IBM Magstar MP (3570).

That was the beginning of the end for DLT that Quantum stopped to enhance in 2007. The top DLT model was the DLT-S4 with native capacity of 800GB for 60MB/s transfer rate, a drive that continues to be on the current Quantum’s portfolio with about no new customers.

Saliba was behind DLT from the first to the last models. He holds over 83 U.S. issued and 41 pending patents in the storage and system technologies including over 50 patents issued in the EU and Japan.

He left Quantum to found his own company, Saliba Technology Solutions, that develops tape products and also provides IP consulting for the storage industry.

Company’s Profile: Saliba Technologies, Inc. 

Boulder, CO

Date founded
March 2009

Financial funding
More than $3 million from angel investors

Main executives

  • george_saliba George Saliba is its founder, chairman, president and CEO. Before that he held the position of VP engineering, GM and CTO at Quantum that he joined in 1994. He managed the advanced products group and the corporate IP for over 12 years and was the primary inventor at Quantum, leading the development of multiple businesses and technologies for product advancements including the GSS systems and Super DLTtape. Prior to Quantum, he was senior group engineering manager for data storage products at DEC after holding senior engineering management and technical staff positions in developing HDDs with STK.
  • Demetri Lignos, board member, held the position of VP engineering at InPhase Technologies. Formerly and following a brief stay with Quantum – following Quantum acquisition of the storage group from Digital Equipment -, he spent five years at Maxtor as VP of diversified positions as engineering quality, continuation engineering and new products introduction groups. Over the last 18 months with Maxtor, he headed operations for the company’s NAS systems group in California.
  • Bassam Saliba, board member, is currently CEO of Equiom, a consulting and technology incubation firm based in Bellevue, WA.

Number of employees
10 (including contractors)

Products description

  • UST (in production) is a patent pending technology designed to diagnose and repair damaged tape drives. Whether it is caused by normal wear and tear, dust, or head damage, repairing the drive is costly and time consuming. UST reduces tape drive repair costs.
  • GSS (under development) revolves around a patented method of formatting user data such that it can be ported between all media types, and between archival, backup and primary storage. The optimized common GSS format is designed for intelligent and compression, reduction, de-dupe, data protection and transparent migration between all types of storage devices without user involvement.

Released dates

  • UST: 2010
  • GSS: Late 2012

Price range

  • UST: Royalty based
  • GSS: To be announced

UST is for current LTO-2/3/4/5, for LTO-6 in late 2012

Number of customers

Target market
LTO drive manufacturers, repairers and end user for UST; cloud storage manufacturers for GSS.