The Last Resort: Streamer Technolgy Overview


Its name alone gives away that the Digital Linear Tape employs a linear recording method. The tape is half of an inch wide and is written in pairs, track by track. Each of the 128 or 208 tracks is as long as the entire tape, and is it written onto. Following the realignment of the heads, the process continues in the opposite direction.

The DLT streamer's structure differs significantly from other technologies: The tape is unwound from a reel here as well, before it's then wound around another reel. However, the target reel is not inside the tape but, instead, is part of the drive. Thanks to a tape routing with little friction and because there is never a strong pull on the tape, the wear and tear is relatively minor, although it is still greater than with SLR, for example.

In contrast to other formats, DLT also cleans itself and boasts substantial electronic support in order to generate long operating times.

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StandardCapacityMaximum Transfer Rate
DLT200015 GB1.25 MB/s
DLT400020 GB1.5 MB/s
DLT700035 GB5 MB/s
DLT800040 GB6 MB/s

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Super DLT

The SDLT standard is supposed to achieve one thing in particular: Generate even greater capacities. Through a combination of optical and magnetic recording methods (LGRT - Laser Guided Magnetic Recording), it achieves greater precision.

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Header Cell - Column 0 SDLT 220SDLT 320SDLT 600SDLT 1200SDLT 2400
Capacity110 GB160 GB300 GB600 GB*1.2 TB**
Maximum transfer rate11 MB/s16 MB/s36 MB/s50 MB/s100 MB/s
* 2005, ** 2006

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