Even as hard-disk drive prices sink to the penny-per-meagbyte range, tape drives are still cheaper, and the preferred media for backup and recovery. But tape is in for some competition from emerging Serial ATA drives, at least where backup is concerned.
Hewlett Packard Co. and Seagate today plan to unveil a hard disk drive with speedy Fibre Channel connectivity and performance with higher capacity and lower cost disk-drive mechanisms. This hybrid technology is called Fibre Attached Technology Adapted and HP plans to ship these drives in its StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array storage systems.

An industry analyst thinks these new drives will fit between existing media for most customers, as both serial ATA and tape drives continue to play roles. "It's great from an operational perspective because the new drives will plug into existing Fibre Channel-based SANs," says Nancy Marrone-Hurley, an analyst at storage research firm Enterprise Storage Group. "Customers change nothing, and use existing storage controllers."

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