From: Craig Faasen (
Date: Tue Jul 28 1998 - 03:02:23 CDT

Summary of question (original is included below) :
What is the reason for the apparent lack of popularity of AIT as opposed
to DLT and Mammoth.

[My apologies for the inappropriate nature of the question which clearly
does not meet the "time-critical" requirement of postings submitted to

Summary of replies :
Of the six responses I received, there were 2 preferences for AIT, 3 for
DLT (including 1 against Mammoth) and 1 for DDS-3.

AIT preference :
- "I recently bought an AIT tape library (spectralogic bullfrog) and
really like it. I have only had it for 2 months, so it seems too soon to
make a strong recommendation to the list. I took the chance on the newer
technology because: (1) it's very space efficient, (2) I need the high
speed, and (3) it was recommended by a contact at a big company who
recommended the helical scan technology (AIT, Mammoth) over DLT because
of their longer head life - at his site the DLTs wear rate is a
significant problem."
- "FWIW, we have had no problems with AIT(had to patch Solaris first
though), have seen good transfer rates, and would recommend the solution
to someone else."

DLT preference :
- "I recently went through the same buying process. I had been using a
single DLT2000, so a DLT library was favored. I ruled out AIT fairly
quickly because it's new technology and does not offer any compelling
features or performance improvements over DLT. AIT is also a helical
scan format which (in my possibly ignorant opinion) leads to increased
tape wear and decreased lifespan. I did find the Mammoth to be nearly as
compelling as the DLT solutions, but chose DLT because of my experience
with it. Also, beware the performance benchmarks on the AIT libraries.
Typically, the AIT benchmarks are done using a greater number of drives
than the DLT unit. For tape write speed, DLT is still faster. I
purchased the ATL P1000 library and have been extremely happy with it."
- "AIT is well regarded and the media supports a bit more data storage
than Mammoth or DLT4000 (25GB rather than 20). AIT is newer, which is
likely why you haven't seem as much about it on the net. DLT7000
supports 35GB, but the drives are more expensive. I have a mild
preference for DLT for one main reason: all three types have pretty
pricey media (US$100+), but DLT also has CompacTapeIIIxt tapes for
~US$50 that store 15GB."
- "I would suggest going with DLT. Tape technology changes very fast and
it's not the best idea to look for the lastest and greatest. Issues such
as reliability, availability of tapes, availabilty of software that that
support or take advantage of the new tape technology can always be a
factor. As far as I know the main advantage of AIT tape is that restore
can be fast if the software that you use support the on tape scsi chip.
It's not a bad choice but since more people are using DLT, I just bet
the media cost would go down faster."

DDS-3 preference :
- "DLT has the market share at the moment, but DDS-3 is steadilly
growing in popularity. The 125m DDS-3 cartridges cost about as much as
DLT cartridges of similar capacity. They are much smaller, which is a
win both for the vault and the physical size of the drive units,
especially for autoloaders. DDS-3 mechanisms can read and write DDS and
DDS-2 without difficulty, a big win if you already have DDS or DDS-2

Against Mammoth :
- "I would shy away from the mammoth just because of the tape
reliability concern and long term growth. Unless you really want
backward compatability, it doesn't by you that much. (smaller tape

Thanks to :
Ann Benninger
Bruce Cheng
John DiMarco
Daniel Ellis
Rich Pieri
Kelly Setzer

Best regards,

-- craig

Craig Faasen Email:
System and Network Administrator Tel : +49 (0)7021 9414-40
Dialog Semiconductor GmbH Fax : +49 (0)7021 9414-10 whois: CF4-RIPE

Craig Faasen wrote:
> Dear Managers,
> Following on from a recent posting regarding backup solutions, I am also
> looking to replace our Exabyte 8505/8705XL drives. In particular, I am
> (urgently) after an autoloader solution to back up around 140Gb of RAID
> stuck up the back of an Ultra-30.
> As far I have been able to ascertain, the market leaders in this field
> are Quantum DLT-4000/7000, Sony AIT and Exabyte Mammoth. However,
> judging simply by the number of related Summaries in the archives, it
> would seem that, on this list, DLT and Mammoth are by far the most
> popular of the three.
> I found only a single Summary regarding AIT drives which, incidentally,
> concluded that they were fine. Nevertheless, I do wonder about their
> apparent lack of popularity. Is this simply due to the fact that the
> technology is still pretty new or are there other factors that have
> turned people away from them ?
> TIA,
> -- craig

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