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Uncompressed 10TB Into One Tape Cartridge

TS1150 is the fifth generation of IBM 3592 tape cartridge technology just announced at native 10TB and 360MB/s or a 150% increase in capacity and 44% in data rate compared to the previous TS1140 released four years ago.

It's the highest capacity never seen for a tape cartridge, the former record being Oracle StorageTek T10000C at uncompressed 5TB and 240MB/s also announced in 2011.

Wait for an Oracle announcement pretty soon to compete with IBM as it's a tradition that, when one of the two companies revealed a new tape generation, the other one follows rapidly because the tape capacity is an essential argument for the ROI of libraries. Follow or die.

With 2:5:1 Streaming Lossless Data Compression (SLDC) algorithm, TS1150 reaches 25TB and 700 MB/s.

The drive used 32-channel GMR head design and 2GB internal buffer with dual-port 8Gb FC interfaces to host and similar others specs than former generation (LTFS, encryption, WORM media). Tape length is 825 meters.

TS1150 drives are capable to read and write former TS1140 media, and format the same cartridges at up to 7TB uncompressed capacity with native data rate of up to 300MB/sec in the TS1150 format.

Of course, new cartridges and drives will be incorporated into IBM TS4500 and IBM TS3500 tape libraries. On its side, library maker Spectra Logic already announced integration of TS1150 in three automation products for a configuration up to 80PB in a 40-frame library and more 3EB in an eight-library complex, to be shipped next month. Spectra Logic's competitors use LTO only in their big libraries.

In IBM's roadmap, sixth generation of IBM 3592, probably in around three years,  is supposed to be between 14TB and 20TB, and 540MB/s.

IBM and Oracle tape technology are totally proprietary, and the only other tape format available now is LTO, semi-proprietary as there is only two drive manufacturers, HP and IBM. Today less expansive LTO-6 is far form TS1150 with native 2.5TB and 160MB/s, and the latest generation in the roadmap, LTO-10, probably available in about ten years, is supposed to be 48TB and 1.1TB/s.

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