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Quantum Corp.’s newest tape library offers high-availability features, and it will soon be offered in a bundle with disk backup and a Fibre Channel switch, officials said.

The Mako PX720 holds 20 drives, can mix up to 732 Linear Tape-Open cartridges or 648 Super Digital Linear Tape cartridges and will ship by year’s end, said Steven Matthews, vice president of library systems engineering at Quantum, in San Jose, Calif.

The Mako’s price ranges from $93,000 to about $420,000, officials said. Quantum will still offer its current high-end P7000 library, but the Mako is “a new architecture. … What we’ve done, essentially, is provide a way for [users] to increase their drive capacity with a self-contained cluster,” Matthews said. The Mako’s other new features include a built-in laptop shelf and robotic tape movement among up to five daisy-chained libraries, called CrossLink, he said. Next year, Quantum will add a Web-linked video camera to the robotic arm for remote monitoring, Matthews said.

Meanwhile, a new feature, Sidecar, will let users place Quantum’s DX30 disk-based backup system, a storage switch or other components into an 8U (14-inch) rack adjacent to the library, Matthews said. Sidecar has a power supply. Quantum may soon bundle the disk backup unit and a switch to sell users a preintegrated tape backup network.

Those parts are typically sold separately today. If manufacturers such as Quantum bundle them, buyers can deal with just one company, use less data center space and not worry about testing whether it’ll all work together, experts say. Quantum will probably announce such a bundle this fall, to ship by year’s end, said sources.

Some question the idea openly. “We’re exploring that. The issue there—and the reason we’re hesitant there—is, does it scale?” said Jeff Kato, director of the automation business segment at Quantum’s biggest reseller, Hewlett-Packard Co. Overall, the bundling of a library, a switch and disk backup is “not a high thing on [customers’] lists,” said Kato, in Loveland, Colo.

Similarly, to avoid vendor lock-in, Advanced Digital Information Corp., in Redmond, Wash., and Storage Technology Corp., in Louisville, Colo., already have bundles but let customers custom-design them, officials said.

Another high-end tape library need is to let disks emulate tape drives as a front end to applications instead of just as a backup cache. StorageTek will announce such a product in the first half of next year.