Quantum has reduced the energy consumption of its new half-height LTO-4 tape drive and made backups faster with a concurrent verify feature.

As well as shrinking the latest LTO-4 tape format drive into a half-height size, Quantum has added a standby or green mode to the drive. Reduction to half-height size has happened to other LTO format drives and reduces the space needed by the drive in tape automation devices.

The green mode is completely new and reduces power consumption by shutting off power to components inside the drive when it's idle or on standby, meaning not reading or writing data. Also, when the drive is actively operating, the power used is less than many competitors' LTO-3 and LTO-4 full-height and half-height tape drives - but not all.

Quantum's UK sales directpr, Steve Mackey, said: "Quantum is offering full LTO4 performance in a smaller package with power reduction features."

Quantum has also introduced a new feature to this LTO-4 HH drive; SmartVerify, which concurrently verifies all data written to the tape, thus nearly eliminating the time needed to verify backup operations.

Traditionally a verify tape run is needed after a backup run to check that the data can be read. It means the drive is in active use for nearly twice the time. By concurrently doing verify with the backup data write the second run through the tape isn't needed and both time and electricity are saved.

The LTO-4 HH drive uses a serial-attached SCSI (SAS) interface and reads and writes data as fast as full height LTO-4 drives. It also offers the same AES 256-bit encryption. Quantum says it has a FastSense variable speed feature that maximises the native transfer rate, completing backups faster. Lastly there is a Dynamic PowerDown feature protects the tape drive and data cartridge during unexpected power loss.

It is reckoned that the new drive completes backups faster and uses less electricity than most if not all other LTO-4 drives on the market.

The LTO-4 HH drive ships with Symantec Backup Exec QuickStart software included in the drive price, which begins at $3,849 MSRP (about £2,000 at normal conversion rates).