Spent most of the day educating myself about Ultrium tape drive technology and HP solutions which utilize it. Looks pretty nice. Ultrium technology is defenetely something I want to get my hands on (and I probably will within the next month or two). No cleaning (generally, apart from special cases), large capacity (100 GBytes native), good transfer rate (15-20 MBytes/second native), almost hardware tape verification (if I got it right), implementations from multiple vendors, open tape format, and few other nice things.

Something nice that I have been looking over from HP was a tape library module with 60 slots, with up to 4 Ultrium tape drives. Each module like this has 2 mail slots, which can be used to move tapes around other connected modules (up to 4 in this case). Good price offer. Expandable. Flexible, with good capacities (24 TBytes native, 240 slots, 16 drives). Touch screen control panel, SCSI, supported by all major operating systems. What else could a backup admin ask for?

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