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Press Release

Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 13, 1995: Ultera Systems used the Comdex exhibit floor to debut its new series of Striper tape array controllers. The Stripers enable arrays of tape drives or stackers to operate at effective speeds which are 2X to 4X that of a single tape drive.

Each new controller brings its users a full range of operations which originally required two different types of systems:

As the name suggests, the new controllers can stripe data onto two or more drives, alternately writing one byte on each drive in succession. The result is a tape array which can be addressed as a single tape drive but has several times the capacity and apparent speed. Up to five drives can be managed, one of which may be dedicated to parity data. Primary applications are in high speed/fault-tolerant backup and data acquisition.

In addition to striping, the controllers can manage mirroring operations (recording one or more duplicate copies simultaneously), for making multiple backups of critical data. Operating options include alternating between two pairs of drives for continuous mirroring or making up to five copies concurrently.

Both striping and mirroring are performed at an effective speed which may be two to four times that of a single tape drive. To achieve this performance, the Ultera controllers incorporate high speed digital signal processing circuitry, dedicated parity generation chips, and an architecture which devotes a separate SCSI bus to each tape drive.

The controllers may also be operated in pass-through mode, when users wish to access each drive independently.

Ultera Striper controllers are compatible with most current tape technology, from 8mm to DAT to DLT or reel-to-reel. Tape arrays can be configured with individual tape speeds running to 10MB/sec and individual tape capacities to at least 20GB uncompressed with current hardware. For compatibility with future hardware, the new systems have been made robotics-friendly, and will be adaptable for use in automated tape libraries.

The new Striper controllers are available in board form factor (Model 101) or with enclosures (Model 901). Prices begin at $4500 in OEM quantities.

Ultera Systems designs and manufactures high performance storage systems. Its products now include RAID tape array controllers and compact disk duplicators. The company is headquartered at 26052 Merit Circle, S.106, Laguna Hills, California 92653.

For further information, call (949) 367-8800, email or visit Ultera's web site at

Editor contact: Cynthia Karch (949)367-8800
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