Spectra Logic has introduced its first tape libraries to use the LTO and SuperDLT half-inch tape formats, saying that its former focus on Sony's 8mm SuperAIT drive was a dead end.

"The late 90s were a time when Quantum got it wrong with DLT and messed a lot of people up on supply," says Spectra Logic's EMEA sales director Anthony Yeates.

"We thought DLT wouldn't be the future and chose Sony. In hindsight we should have done half-inch - we spent too much time trying to sell the drive when we should have been selling a technical solution."

He says that although Spectra Logic is late into the market, it brings intelligent libraries with the industry's highest storage density. It can fit 190TB of uncompressed data into a 30-inch rack, and up to four extra racks can be added to take it to 120 drives and over 6000 cartridges.

The high capacity is thanks to a design which stores and moves tapes around in small racks. It also allows media to be loaded and unloaded in bulk.

Yates adds that not only can SDLT, LTO and SAIT be mixed within a single library, it can have Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and be partitioned into multiple virtual libraries too. "We can replace five dumb libraries with one intelligent one," he says.