LaCie Introduces 70GB FireWire Tape Backup Solutions

LaCie has launched two new FireWire based backup storage solutions. The company has announced an AIT solution with capacity of up to 70 GB, as well as a FireWire based DDS system with capacity of up to 24 GB (compressed). Both of these solutions are aimed at commercial and other serious uses. The following press release is much lengthier than what we normally quote, but all of the information is pertinent. From LaCie:

Combining fast, reliable backup and recovery with proven technologies, LaCie has unveiled its first line of FireWire backup solutions. The product line includes a high-end AIT backup system with a tape capacity of up to 70 GB, and a DDS-3 drive that is ideal for departmental or personal backup. Both solutions are the first high-performance tape drives that use high-speed, plug-and-play FireWire connectivity.

The new LaCie drives, which can be connected to any FireWire-equipped computer, represent ideal data-protection solutions for the Macintosh G3, G4 and iMac systems. Digital content creators, in particular, must protect volumes of critical data. As a result, they rely on high-performance backup systems. By combining its broad experience with the FireWire interface and its expertise in backup drives, LaCie offers power users two types of ultra-reliable solutions.

Both models can deliver backup for small to medium-sized networks and servers, with a capacity per tape of up to 70GB for the AIT and 24GB for the DDS-3 (compressed). With the added flexibility of the FireWire connection, the drives can also be easily shared between individual workstations. The hot-pluggable drives can even be added or removed while computer is running. The drive mounts automatically when attached, providing immediate device recognition. There is no need for terminators, device IDs or elaborate set-up, and backup can be initiated in a matter of minutes.

AIT+FireWire: Increased Performance, Higher Reliability
The LaCie FireWire AIT+ drive provides graphics and video professionals with key benefits that distinguish it from other tape drives:

The 8mm AIT+ tapes are about the size of an audio tape, but each tape can hold up to 70GB of compressed data. High cartridge capacity is necessary for unattended backup as it minimizes run time and reduces the number of cartridges required. Offering an average of 30,000 uses, the robust media has a near-diamond-hard protective carbon layer for increased durability.

AIT media features the Memory-In-Cassette (MIC) memory chip which promotes faster data retrieval speeds. The internal Active Head Cleaner mechanism senses contamination build-up and automatically removes debris, reducing the need for periodic head cleaning. Patented Hyper Metal laminated heads deliver higher signal output, improve recording density and enhance data recovery.

These features, plus a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rating of 250,000 hours, make the LaCie AIT+ drive the ideal backup/recovery solution for businesses and graphics professionals alike.

FireWire DDS-3: Data Integrity, One-button Disaster Recovery
Designed to protect small server and workstation data, the LaCie FireWire DDS-3 provides a compressed capacity of 24GB per cartridge. The FireWire DDS-3 stores data at 7.2GB/hr (2MB/s) and automatically carries out read-after-write verification to ensure complete data integrity. For organizations already using DDS tape drives, the LaCie DDS-3 is also backward compatible with DDS, DDS-DC and DDS-2 formats, so existing archive tapes can continue to be used.

For fast, easy disaster recovery, the drive incorporates one-button disaster recovery which immediately restores the operating system, configuration, applications and data files to their most current state in the event of a hard drive failure, data corruption or virus attack.

The drive delivers up to 200,000 hours MTBF performance. It also features an automatic internal head cleaner and TapeAlert firmware technology that automatically diagnoses tape storage problems. The TapeAlert technology is complemented by a LaCie CD-ROM that includes troubleshooting, diagnostics, drivers and documentation.

The drives ship with Retrospect backup software from Dantz for both Mac and Windows environments and are backed by a 3-year warranty.

LaCie has not yet added information about the FireWire versions of these drives to its Web site. The FireWire AIT+ drives are priced at US$1549 with 35/70GB cartridges being priced at US$74. The FireWire DDS-3 drives are priced at US$899 with cartridges priced at US$17.