StorageTek has promised to develop tape drives that will provide 1 terabyte (TB) of native data storage on a single media cartridge by 2007.
The company claimed its T-Series tape drive product roadmap shows its ability to deliver this capacity "within the next two tape-drive generations".
StorageTek also said that as a result, it will be able to increase data throughput to maintain, or even reduce, the total backup time per cartridge, which will lower the total cost of ownership.
"We plan to deliver more than four times our current products' specifications for capacity-centric customers in 2007, with a 1TB native capacity cartridge," said Martin Warren, European business manager for automated tape solutions at StorageTek.
Annie Rickard, marketing director at storage VAR TriSys, said with a 1TB tape drive, resellers will be able to offer huge storage capabilities at a much lower cost than is possible now.
"But demand is likely only at the upper end of our customer base, such as large financial institutions," she said. "A lot of our public-sector customers are moving towards 0.25TB of data, so in a few years they could be ready for a cheap method of storing it."
StorageTek admitted last month that business through partners has fallen year-on-year, but it has committed itself to pushing more deals through the channel. Earlier this year it launched a deal registration programme to support resellers.
"We are confident there will be a good market for the 1TB tape drive, and when it is released, we'll be there working with StorageTek to deliver it to customers," Rickard added.
Separately, the vendor said its forthcoming tape cartridge technology will be based on a joint media development programme with Imation and Fujifilm.
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