Hewlett-Packard on Thursday announced that it plans to release in September a line of tape library products, including an "Interface Manager." The manager device is designed to do such things as detect tape library errors, automatically clean tape drives and alert administrators of possible problems. (Tape libraries are machines with multiple tape drives, slots for many tape cartridges, and a robotic system for moving tapes.) HP's ESL 9322 Extended Tape Library, which includes the interface manager and slots for 322 tape cartridges, has a list price of $99,900.
The computing giant also laid out a blueprint for making storage tape libraries connected to SANs (storage area networks) easier to manage and more secure. HP calls its blueprint the HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library Architecture. SANs, typically used by large companies, are special-purpose networks that link storage devices to server computers.