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New tape drive offers unprecedented capacity

IBM, in conjunction with Fujifilm, announced a new enterprise tape drive and tape media. The new IBM TS1170 tape drive supports a 50 TB native capacity tape cartridge. This is a dramatic increase in capacity, over twice the IBM TS1160’s 20 TB tape cartridge capacity, over twice the LTO 9’s 18 TB capacity, and greater than currently shipping hard disk drives (20-26TB). This new offering will greatly assist organizations to store large and growing amounts of cold data cost-effectively. In addition to lowering costs, the very low power requirements make it a compelling solution for reducing data center power consumption and improving sustainability.


Interestingly, this announcement comes almost exactly twenty years after the first IBM 3592 tape drive was announced. The first TS1100 tape drive (called the 3592 at the time) was announced in September 2003 and had a capacity of 300 GB per cartridge. Today’s announcement of a 50 TB cartridge capacity is over 160 times larger than the 2003 cartridge. Detail on the new tape drive can be found at this link.


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