Keep On Rockin' In The Tape World
Integrator MTI Technology Corp. enabled BMG Music Publishing to manage 700,000 CD titles with the help of a high-capacity tape library.
Sonopress (Asheville, NC) is an international provider of value-added outsourced services to customers in the music, publishing, games, and computer industries. Its primary services include CD-audio, CD-ROM, and DVD replication. In that type of production environment, storage is a critical aspect of the business.
Storage vendor and systems integrator MTI Technology Corp. (Anaheim, CA) has been working with Sonopress for more than five years. When Sonopress landed BMG Music Publishing (New York), a subsidiary of BMG Entertainment (New York), as its newest customer, additional storage capacity became an immediate requirement. "Sonopress had existing storage solutions they purchased from us," says Keith Graham, area VP for MTI. "But after landing the BMG account, they came to us needing additional storage capacity."
Additional capacity indeed. BMG Music Publishing operates in 31 countries and boasts a portfolio of more than 700,000 music (CD) titles, with artists from Air Supply to ZZ Top. Sonopress needed sufficient storage capacity to archive all of the master recordings for BMG Music. "Anything that is music, that is digital, and that would have to be reproduced needs to be stored by Sonopress," says Graham. "Sonopress will archive all of the music, as well as the artwork relating to a particular CD. When BMG needs a new shipment of a particular title and artist, Sonopress will handle the production. They needed a storage solution with sufficient capacity to archive all of that information."
Music Archive Requires High Capacity
Graham recommended the ATL P7000 Gigabit Ethernet library from Quantum Corp. (Milpitas, CA). Because the BMG project represented a new storage need for the customer, MTI did not have to worry about making the transition from one technology to another. "We sat down with the customer, looked at their needs, and recommended the library we felt would best meet their needs," says Graham. "When looking for a library large enough to hold that much content, there are only a few companies to consider. We looked at libraries from Quantum, StorageTek [Louisville, CO], and Advanced Digital Information Corporation [ADIC] [Redmond, WA]." In fact, Sonopress was already looking at some of these products when Graham became aware of the need. "MTI has a strong relationship with this customer, and that was the main reason they came to us," says Graham. "After discussing the different products with them, they decided to go with the ATL P7000. Once they heard our recommendation, we quoted them a price and they signed a purchase order the same day."
The ATL P7000 uses Quantum's Prism Storage Architecture, which ensures the library can accept the latest tape options and interfaces. As a result, the ATL P7000 can be loaded with DLT (digital linear tape) SDLT (super DLT), and LTO (linear tape open) drives, or any combination of the three, using a partitioning option. "You can load the library with different drives and carve up the storage for different applications," says Graham. "A mission-critical application like a large Oracle database can access the fastest drives, while a less critical application like surveillance cameras will access the slower drives."
Upgrade To Faster, Higher Capacity Drives
Sonopress purchased the ATL P7000 with LTO-1 drives, but already has plans to add faster LTO-2 drives to the library. "The main reason is the software," states Graham. "Most backup software is licensed, and the licensing is based, at least in part, on the number of tape slots in the library. This is pretty standard, whether the customer is using software from Sun Microsystems [Santa Clara, CA], VERITAS Software [Mountain View, CA], or LEGATO Systems [Mountain View, CA]. Sonopress knew their data storage needs would continue to grow, and LTO-2 has double the capacity of LTO-1. This essentially resolves any issues they have with slot counts. They had a software issue that is being solved by adding new hardware."
The ATL P7000 lists for about $150,000 and includes two drives, although the library will scale to 16 drives in a single cabinet with total capacity reaching 500 TB compressed. The library's Prism Storage Architecture also allows for Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, or SCSI (small computer system interface) interface connections, making it easy to attach to a server or a storage network. Installations are usually performed by MTI with some assistance from Quantum field service engineers. Both companies will provide customer training and support for the product. "We will do hands-on training while we are on-site," says Graham. "By the time we leave, the customer should be capable of making that piece of equipment work and know the setup procedures required in a standard configuration. If they need help after we leave, they can call our 800-number help line."
Storage For Security Footage
Sonopress was so pleased with the performance of the library, the company called Graham about six months later to order a second one. "The second ATL P7000 is for security purposes," he says. "Sonopress has 72 surveillance cameras and needed a large library to store the footage recorded by the cameras." The library is kept in a secure location and stores everything the cameras record.
"Backup is backup," adds Graham. "Every reseller should be selling backup solutions. Backup is something every company needs, and there are no set verticals. VARs can sell tape libraries into any business that has data requirements. Every company needs to be able to recover its data in the event of a failure or a disaster. That is a requirement in this industry. If a company has data, they have to back it up."