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IBM Intros Enterprise Tape Drive

TotalStorage system offers high capacity and fast response to queries.

Martin Garvey

September 9, 2003

1 Min Read

The high-end storage market is a two-horse race, with IBM and Storage Technology Corp. battling to gain the edge by introducing new features. By competing on features rather than price, the two vendors have managed to keep tape prices steady, while the price for other storage products keeps falling. But tape is still much cheaper than hard-disk-drive-based storage.

IBM gained an edge Tuesday when it introduced the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3592. The vendor says the high-capacity system could be used by some businesses to consolidate storage systems and will also perform well when queries come in from users.

The 3592 can store 300 Gbytes of data and transfers data at a rate of 40 Mbytes per second, IBM says. The new drive will fit into existing IBM 3494 tape libraries and raise their capacity to as much as 5 petabytes. Perhaps by year's end, IBM hopes to add write-once capabilities to the 3592 for customers who need the added security. Starting out, the 3592 is priced at $32,000.

An industry analyst thinks the biggest plus from the 3592 is the possibility for storage consolidation. "God knows how many different tape formats most customers have in the data center," says John McArthur at research firm IDC. "They need to take cost out of the infrastructure."

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