VXA is a data backup format for Streamers ( tape drives), originally developed by Ecrix and acquired by Tandberg Data after Ecrix merged with Exabyte Exabyte Corporation to Data. After the acquisition on 20 November 2006 by Tandberg Data, the format was not developed further. VXA has, in comparison to related technologies such as DLT and AIT, innovations. VXA is the first tape format records data in packets.

  • 4.1 Cartridge / tape
  • 4.2 Mechanism / drive
  • 4.3 tape in the drive


Exabyte and Ecrix describe the data format as " Packet Technology" ( ~ package technique). VXA uses helical scanning, are recorded in the data packets as the images in the video recorder in oblique bands. A new aspect of the technique is that the packets begin with a unique brand of "Packet ID" and and end with a "ECC" checksum. If a band is written on the tape, it is read immediately, and again compared to see whether the recording was error-free. An erroneous packet is repeatedly written onto the tape, without having to stop and rewind the tape. To the data packets together with their ID to be kept in a buffer memory. In the buffer 3 are stored various checksum to ensure the data integrity. These are two heads in the head drum. When reading both heads can be used. Helical scanning brings a relatively slow tape speed with it, which allows the band to stop faster.

Market area

VXA competes primarily against DDS, DLT -IV and formats. According to the manufacturer the life of the media is 20000 passes, which corresponds to approximately 1000 full backups.

Format Overview

VXA -3

Exabyte brought two product lines of the VXA -3 technology on the market: VXA -320 in 2005 and VXA -172 VXA -172 in 2006 drives are limited to 86 GB per tape, but can be unlocked for a fee.. Otherwise they are the same. VXA -3 was the first marketable helical scanning system with " MR" heads. These are thin-film magnetic heads ( TFMR ) which use the GMR effect.

The memory sizes are uncompressed physical given. Exabyte went from a possible compression of a factor of 2 and applied the products with it.


Cartridge / tape

VXA tape V17 ( 170m ), view from below

VXA tape V17 ( 170m ), partly dismantled

VXA tape V17 ( 170m x 8mm )

Mechanism / Drive

Open VXA- 1 drive

Open VXA- 1 drive from above

VXA- 1 drive with ATAPI interface

Underside with original and überklebtem Brand Name

Front view without cover with view of the head drum

Tape in the drive

VXA -1 tape drive with a tense

VXA -1 View from the right

VXA- 1 View from left