In our interview today with ADIC CEO Peter van Oppen we learn that ADIC is tactically interested in acquiring Overland to enhance efficiencies in the automated tape product market. We also learn that ADIC is excited about multi-tier disks in PathLight VX-type devices but isn't talking about products or product directions in this area.

We also learn that LTO is winning out over all other formats. Mammoth has already gone. Sony has closed down its shared storage division which effectively removes its Petasite libraries from the market and has Sony consolidating formats to AIT/SAIT. We hear that LTO half-height drives may be the kiss of death for DAT72. Which raises questions. The DLT/SDLT situation seems clear enough. It's an installed base sell, a huge installed base sell. The vast majority of new tape sales are LTO, not SDLT.

What about VXA? Exabyte has some impressive products, the VXA autoloader for one. But will Exabyte have to bow down and worship at the LTO altar too? It aleady supports LTO formats in its tape products. Conceivably VXA could go the way of Mammoth.

And how about proprietary StorageTek and IBM tape formats? They both have roadmaps out to terabyte tapes, as does LTO. But can they withstand the LTO juggernaut or will it make inroads into the mainframe tape space too? IBM is in the LTO consortium, StorageTek is not. We can assume that both HP and Quantum will want to breach the mainframe tape device wall. Will IBM go along with that? They say mainframes use tapes in a different way from Windows and Unix servers. But do all mainframes do so? Will some mainframe users demand that open systems cost efficiencies come to their tape backup operations and start knocking down another proprietary wall?