Sun, IBM Each Claim Firsts in Tape Storage

Rivals Sun and IBM launch 1TB tape drives one day apart. Sun claims it was the first such storage tape device. IBM says its storage offering is faster.

Sun Microsystems on July 14 launched the world's first enterprise tape drive capable of carrying 1 terabyte worth of data. A day later, rival IBM July 15 followed suit with its own 1TB drive that it claims is the fastest on the market.
These aren't storage drives for the faint of wallet. Sun's costs about $37,000 plus tax, and IBM's retails for a tad more at $39,050.
The Sun StorageTek T10000B tape drive, which uses wired-Fibre Channel connectivity and is described by the company as "eco-efficient" due to its low power usage, can be deployed in either open or mainframe-system environments.
The T10000B provides for media re-use and backward read/write compatibility, allowing users who standardized on earlier versions of the T10000 product line to gain double capacity on existing cartridges.
It will be available late this month. More information is available here.
IBM's System Storage TS1130 tape drive features an I/O rate of 160MB per second, slightly faster than Sun's 120MB per second. One terabyte of capacity can house the text of about 1 million books, an IBM spokesperson said.
The new tape drive is aimed at midsized, as well as enterprise clients, across financial, life sciences and public sector industries who are seeking massive data protection, compliance and archive solutions needed over the long term. It is designed to be utilized alongside IBM's tape virtualization and automation software.
The TS1130 uses a GMR (Giant Magnetoresistive) sensitive read/write head design that results in fewer data read errors, the company claims.
The tape drive uses existing No. 3592 rewritable and WORM cartridges. It offers backward compatibility with support for IBM generation 1, 2 and 3 systems; it supports read and write for generation 2 and read only for generation 1.
It also supports drive-based data encryption. The TS1130-based encryption and associated Encryption Key Manager are compatible with a variety of operating system environments, including Windows, Linux and Unix.
The TS1130 will be available worldwide direct from the company and from resellers Sept. 5. IBM is also offering an upgrade from existing drives for $19,500 and backward media compatibility. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...