The War of the Robots (March 1997)

IBM and StorageTek are currently competing both on tape formats (with STK's D3 and IBM's Magstar) and on robotic systems (with IBM's 3494 library and STK's Powderhorn and oter tape silos).

Both the competing tape formats share the same external physical dimensions, so theoretically allowing for instance 3590's to be used in STK silos. Of course the new tapes would require new drives to be installed in the silos, which would require some degree of co-operation between the robotics and the drive manufacturers. This cooperation has been conspicuous by its absence until recently, mainly because of STK's large share of the robotics market world-wide. This made STK less than enthusiastic about IBM installing their drives and tapes into the large STK installed base, particularly during the roll out of the Redwood D-3 cartridge. Arm-twisting by STK's main clients in the geophysical industry at the last SEG convention has eased the situation to the extent that STK no longer consider it a criminal offence to mix and match the technologies.

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