Native Fibre Channel Tape Drives versus SCSI-to-Fibre Channel Routers
sponsored by Quantum Corporation

Native Fibre Channel (FC) tape drives are being introduced to the market by more and more tape drive manufacturers and, subsequently, are being promoted with much marketing fanfare. Quantum recognizes its role as a leader in this market, and thus feels it is important to cut through the hype and present the facts. This paper will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of both native FC tape drive and SCSI-to-FC router solutions (both internal, as used in ATL Tape Libraries™, and external).

End users should carefully consider all the costs when making this decision. Compare the cost of the router along with the number of tape drives it can support with maximum performance versus the cost of switch ports and cabling for every tape drive as well as the robotics controller. Consider the tradeoffs of availability, redundancy, multi-pathing with port failover, ease of management, upgrade flexibility, and investment protection, and it is likely that an internal router approach will have many positive benefits.
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