This article describes the differences between Jukeboxes, Tower of Changers, CD Towers, CD Servers and Turbo CD servers. All of these systems provide different ways to make CD and DVD discs available to users. There are pros and cons to each of these systems.
contains many discs (over 600 discs), robotics and a few drives. They usually are attached to servers but can also be attached directly to the network through a thin server. A jukebox is excellent for archiving data and can also be used to access large numbers (over 200) of CD or DVD discs. A jukebox with a CD-Recorder, DVD-Writer or DVD-RAM drive can be used to archive data. The jukebox connects to a Windows NT/2000, Novell or Sun UNIX server using K-Par
or Smart Storage
software. Users on the network can drag and drop data to the server which automatically transfers the data to a CD or DVD disc in the jukebox. For example, the JVC jukebox
is available with a built-in CD-Recorder and a convenient CD-Printer. You can archive data to the jukebox and print labels on the discs. The Pioneer
jukebox is available with an optional DVD-Recorder and provides the highest capacity storage.
All the jukeboxes work best when only a few users need to access the discs at the same time. Small jukeboxes have only one CD-ROM or DVD-ROM reader, so only one CD/DVD is available to all the users at one time. Larger jukeboxes have six or more readers; so more users can simultaneously access the different CDs at the same time. If additional users want to use a new CD, they have to wait for the CD to be swapped by the robotics in the jukebox. This takes from 4 to 9 seconds. The downside to jukeboxes is that they are slow, and they cost more than many of the other solutions offered.
A CD-ROM changer
(sometimes referred to as a small jukebox) holds up to 5 CDs and has only one reader. Only one CD can be read at a time. The user has to wait for the CD to be moved into the reader (about 6 seconds). We usually recommend changers for individual computers rather than network applications. The changer doesn't require special software and can be connected through a SCSI adapter to a PC. The Nakamichi CDR-J1516X
is an example.
The Tower of Changers
is a tower with a number of 5-disc changers installed. The cost/performance is better than a jukebox or CD tower. It provides a relatively high number of 16X CD-ROM readers at a lower price than the CD-ROM tower. A Tower of Changers with 70 CD capacity has 14 CD-ROM readers available. This means that 14 users can simultaneously access 14 different CDs. This only supports CD-ROM discs. The downside is that it can be slow. If two different users want two different discs located in the same changer, they have to wait for the discs to change. Towers
(or racks) contain a number of individual CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives, and are used when you want all the CDs to be available to everyone at the same time. They can be connected directly to a computer, but are usually connected to the network using a built-in thin server. For example, the model CDR N8740X-NETServ100
, contains seven 40X drives and a built-in Axis thin server that attaches directly to your network hub. This tower/server is very easy to install and use. It appears as a server on the network, and runs independently of your network server.
The Turbo Tower
(or rack) is the newest way of making CD or DVD discs available to network users. It provides the most cost-effective solution for between 14 and 255 CD or DVD discs. The Turbo tower attaches to an Ethernet network and uses built-in hard drives to store (or cache) the content of all the discs. You can choose models with CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-Changers, and even CD-R/W Recorders or DVD-Recorders. With a Recorder installed, users on the network can archive data. The latest Turbo tower uses the Allion thin server. This is a multifunction system that holds CD or DVD discs in hard drives, as well as providing general read/write storage to all the users on the network. The downside of all these caching systems is that it takes time to copy the CDs to the hard drive. It's very automatic, and easy to do, but still take about 2 - 3 minutes to copy each CD. These Turbo towers are very easy to install and use. They provide a multi-protocol direct connection to your 10/100 Base Ethernet network. They attach to Novell, Macintosh, UNIX or MS network (Win 9598, Win NT/2000, XP), IBM OS/2 LAN Server, NFS. They can be setup, administered and accessed through a web browser.
If you would like more information about any of these products please contact us at 800-431-1658 (in the USA), or 914-347-2530 (outside the USA), or e-mail
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