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Sony AIT 260/S in HP A7445A rack mount

Rod Hewitt
Occasional Advisor

Sony AIT 260/S in HP A7445A rack mount

A customer currently has a fairly new internal Sony AIT 260/S tape drive installed in an old ML370.

We wish to upgrade the server to a DL360 – but this does not have the capacity for an internal tape drive.

The obvious solution is to obtain a Sony rack mount kit – but these are a) difficult to locate b) expensive and c) may be incompatible with a future HP Ultrium (or whatever) drive.

The next idea is to obtain the HP A7445A rack mount kit. This appears to do the job but a call to HP pre-sales suggested that the AIT drive will not work if installed. (The reason given being something to do with proprietary connectors.) Their recommendation is to change to an Ultrium drive.

Customer quite reasonably does not wish to change their tape drive.

Any comments on the possibility of getting the AIT drive to work in an A7445A rack mount? Ideally, this approach would allow conversion to Ultrium as and when a new tape drive is actually required by adding it to the rack mount!

Any other suggestions?
Scott McIntosh_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Sony AIT 260/S in HP A7445A rack mount

Well, no doubt they want you to buy a new HP tape drive. But as far as I can tell, the A7445A is just a two-bay half-height chassis with nothing special about it. Basic PC-style drive power connector and standard 68-pin LVD SCSI cable.

You may or may not be able to use the external SCSI ID switch on the back, depending on how the SCSI jumpers are set up on the AIT-3 drive versus the supported HP drive modules.

As for future Ultrium, it's only half-height, so your Ultrium options would only be the HP Ultrium215 and Ultrium448 drives at this time. So keep that in mind, although Ultrium448 would be double the native capacity and double the native transfer rate of that AIT-3 tape drive.