After reading John Green's Lab Reports: "LANvault 200" (August 2000), I want to share the experiences my company has had with ATL Products' LANvault 200 with a Quantum DLT 7000 drive. We purchased LANvault because we wanted a DLT library that would let us perform backups that span multiple tapes. Initially, we had a lot of problems with this backup solution. For example, when we attempted to use the front control panel to eject the tape from the drive inside the library unit, the library would hang. In addition, if we shut down the unit when there was a tape still in the drive, the tape would get stuck in the drive and we would receive the error message Remove Cart from Elevator.

After many headaches, we were able to work with the ATL technical support staff to solve these problems. ATL told us not to perform all tape-drive operations from the front control panel—instead, use the backup software (in our case, VERITAS Software's Backup Exec) to perform operations such as ejecting the tape from the drive. We received the error message because the library unit's BIOS contained a bug. To solve this problem, ATL replaced the faulty unit with a replacement unit that had a patched BIOS.

Neither problem was the result of insufficient administrator knowledge but rather a lack of product robustness. However, since we sorted through these shortcomings, we've been happily using LANvault without any problems.