As long time players in the backup market, ADIC offers an impressive range of products. Now its latest desktop tape library - the Scalar 24 - aims to bridge the gap between small and large businesses as it delivers a truly enterprise level storage product at a price that will appeal to the SME. Historically, the move from autoloader or single tape drive up to a tape library has been accompanied with a large increase in outlay. But the Scalar 24 delivers a maximum 9.6TB of storage potential and yet doesn’t cost much more than a typical high capacity desktop autoloader. The system on review came supplied with a single IBM LTO-1 drive allowing the library to provide a total compressed storage capacity of 2.4TB. The 4U chassis is extremely solid and there’s room for up to two high-speed tape drives with support for LTO-1, LTO-2 or SDLT320 models. You can start small as the library can easily be upgraded. The drives are held in sturdy carriers easily removed from the rear of the chassis. Being a standard form factor you’ll be able to improve performance by slotting in the next generation LTO or SDLT drives as they become available. Behind the lockable front door you’ll find storage spread over four internal locations – two removable seven-slot magazines, a fixed nine-slot carrier at the rear and a single import/export slot for removing or loading cartridges without having to open the front door. The drive bays are positioned alongside the fixed magazine and the picker robotics move across the width of the chassis in between these and the front magazines. A bar code reader also comes as standard. A simple control panel and LCD display are located at the front from which you can run a quick setup wizard, set SCSI IDs and configure the single slot for import/export duties or as a fixed slot. You can separate the library into two logical partitions that will be seen as two independent libraries by your backup software. ADIC also offers an optional hardware module for remotely managing and monitoring the library via a web browser. Clear instructions and good general documentation are provided so installation proved to be simple enough. The library was correctly recognized by Veritas Backup Exec 9 and Computer Associates ARCserve 9. However, do bear in mind that you will need to factor in the extra cost of the library support options they both require. From either product’s interface we could run full inventories, view the contents of each slot and move cartridges to and from the import/export slot with ease. We could designate permanent cleaning slots and Backup Exec also allowed us to group selected slots into multiple logical partitions. The Scalar 24 is without doubt an impressive desktop sized tape library that delivers a fine range of features for a comparatively modest price tag. In fact, the price is so low it will certainly make some smaller businesses rethink their backup storage strategy completely.
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