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Press Release

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif., August 17, 1999.....Ultera Systems, the leading tape array controller and tape array system supplier, today announced that Qualstar has certified Ultera's most advanced product, LibraryMaster™, for its TLS-4000 Series of AIT* tape libraries. Qualstar is now recommending LibraryMaster as a powerful option to its extensive network of worldwide resellers.

In making the announcement, Ultera Systems noted that the award-winning LibraryMaster brings breakthrough performance, fault tolerance and data recovery to SCSI-based automated tape libraries. LibraryMaster combines Ultera’s advanced controller technology with a new robotics control module to deliver an integrated solution to maximize a customer’s investment in tape automation hardware and software. With Sony’s Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT*) drives and Qualstar’s TLS-4000 tape library, Ultera’s new technology moves AIT automation to a higher level, with valuable and powerful capabilities.

"The solution provided by the LibraryMaster with Sony AIT drives and Qualstar’s scalable library systems is absolutely on target with the demands we have been seeing for mid- to high-end enterprise backup applications in providing new levels of performance and data integrity," said John Woelbern, Senior Marketing Product Manager for Sony’s Tape Streamer Products Division. "By utilizing Sony’s new AIT-2 tape technology, with up to five drives in parallel for example, this solution can now provide an astounding native data transfer rate of 72 over 40 megabytes per second, assuming 2.0:1 data compression.."

Qualstar Vice President of Sales Bob Covey said that LibraryMaster is a technology that is extremely complementary to the Qualstar library line and adds some very powerful features. "Our libraries are recognized for their reliability and advanced design characteristics. Ultera’s LibraryMaster enhances the performance of our systems while providing expanded security through its unique data recoverability."

"Tape libraries offer the most cost-effective method to keep pace with the explosion of on-line data capacity, but they have yet to make major advances in dealing with bandwidth issues," said Fred Bedard, Ultera Systems Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "LibraryMaster lets customers use their existing tape hardware and software and supercharges throughput and data reliability to unprecedented levels -- backup applications can take advantage of faster processors, I/O and tape drives, and leverage the performance of their existing backup software. LibraryMaster brings a new era of backup opportunities to the tape library market and unprecedented performance and reliability to IT managers chartered with data storage and security."

LibraryMaster was recently awarded "Resellers Choice" by Computer Technology Review, a publication well respected for its in-depth coverage of storage issues and technology. The review on LibraryMaster appeared in the July issue.

Driving up to five tape drives in parallel, the LibraryMaster tape array controller reads and writes data at four times the speed of conventional subsystems, while providing guaranteed data recoverability in the event of damaged or lost tape media or failed tape drive. LibraryMaster products provide plug-and-play compatibility with all major tape technologies. The high performance and high reliability of Ultera tape array controllers are 100% transparent to backup software applications, which recognize a single library with multiple drives as a virtual single drive system. All robotic control is coordinated via the LibraryMaster.

LibraryMaster gives customers maximum flexibility in designing advanced data backup and recovery solutions. For optimal performance, users can select the striping option that combines the bandwidth of multiple tape drives to create the fastest backup possible (increasing speed up to 400%), and/or the disaster-resistant mirroring configuration that creates multiple copies of every backup session for maximum data protection with 100% guaranteed data recovery.

Ultera’s performance configuration utilizes the bandwidth of two or more tape drives to generate sustained backup speeds of over 40 megabytes per

second. Using a RAID-0 mode, the LibraryMaster stripes the data across two or four tape drives to achieve maximum throughput. The addition of a parity drive enables RAID-3 operation to produce an extra layer of data protection and fault tolerance. Using this configuration, if one cartridge is damaged or lost or even if a tape drive fails, the LibraryMaster will automatically restore and rebuild lost data by drawing from the remaining tapes for guaranteed data recoverability.

The mirroring mode guarantees maximum data availability as all data is written to two or more drives simultaneously, creating multiple backup copies in the same time it normally takes to record a single tape. Ultera’s LibraryMaster controller transparently automates the mirrored tape sets, allowing the most highly fault-tolerant tape operations. An administrator can painlessly create multiple backup tapes, sending one set offsite to protect against catastrophic disasters, while keeping another backup set stored inside the library for a dual level of fault tolerance. In the case of a dual failure of a hard disk drive and the primary backup tapes, critical corporate data is safeguarded.

LibraryMaster works with all tape technologies, including DLTtape*, AIT*, Mammoth* and SLR*, as well as the forthcoming LTO*. It operates transparently with the leading backup software on a variety of operating systems, including the major UNIX* platforms, NetWare*, Windows NT* and Linux*.

LibraryMaster is available in an OEM version for integration within a library. Reseller models are available in table top or rackmount configurations. Availability is immediate, with a suggested retail price of $14,550.

About Sony
Based in San Jose, Calif., the Tape Streamer Products Division of Sony Electronics’ Component Company markets tape drives and autoloaders through OEM, industrial distribution and reseller channels. For additional information about Sony computer products, call (800) 352-7669 or visit Sony’s World Wide Web site at For more information on Sony recording media, call (800) 766-9328.

About Qualstar
Qualstar Corporation is the leading manufacturer of automated libraries for AIT and AIT-2 technology tape drives. Its TLS-4000 family spans capacities from 300 GB to 46 TB in 10 models. Its complete tape automation product lines are marketed through OEMs, VARs and Systems Integrators worldwide. Qualstar is based in Canoga Park, Calif. For further information, call (800) 468-0680, (818) 592-0061, or visit its web site at

About Ultera Systems
Ultera Systems, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of RAID Tape Array controllers and subsystems designed for high-speed backup, archive and high-speed data acquisition applications. All industry standard tape drives, tape libraries and storage management software are compatible with the Ultera Arrays. Its tape array product lines are marketed under the trade names "Striper™," "Imager™," "LibraryMaster," and "ShadowMaster™," and sold through OEMs, VARs, and Systems Integrators worldwide. Ultera is based in Laguna Hills, Calif.

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

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Ultera, Striper, Imager, MultiMaster, and LibraryMaster are trademarks of Ultera Systems Inc.
* A trademark or trade name of an entity other than Ultera

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