Sony Intros SAIT PetaSite

Sony is introducing a series of PetaSite tape library systems based on SAIT drive technology that will offer 500 GB of storage on each tape. That translates into a storage density of up to 250 TB of native capacity per square meter of floor space, and a total native capacity of up to 1.2 PB [petabytes].

"With the transition from the current architectures of broadcast video to the new type of IT-type architectures the opportunity is very large for a central repository," says Tom Yuhas, director of data systems solutions for Sony Electronics' Business Systems & Solutions Company. "It hits on different applications or transmission as well as digital asset management and news asset management."

The SAIT drive technology is based on half-inch Advanced Metal Evaporated tape and has the same structure as AIT3. The basic SAIT PetaSite system is one RU in size and contains two SAIT-1 drives, an Ethernet hub, a terminal server and a PetaSite control unit. It can hold up to 12 drives and 216 cartridges for up to 108 TB of native capacity.

"It has a very high-density datapack on a single reel so the tape becomes part of the drive itself," says Yuhas. When recording at 50i MPEG-2 4:2:2 quality each tape can store more than 20 hours of content. The library is expandable and can grow from a single base unit to a complete system with 8 units accessed by one robotic unit.

Sustained native data transfer rates for the SAIT PetaSite library will reach up to 2.88 GB per second, and a standard file can be restored in just over one minute.

"Because we're dealing with more and more rich media content it's a necessity to find the right level of cost-effective storage," adds Yuhas. "And when we start getting into HD video files the SAIT has a nice road map to accommodate it."

The basic SAIT PetaSite tape system will be available in two models, one with a Fibre Channel interface (CSM-200BF, $113,000) and another with a SCSI interface (CSM-200BS, $103,000) with both shipping in June.