IBM 3490E magnetic tape subsystem enhanced capability

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One year after the initial 3490E roll-out, IBM introduced the Models C10 (control unit with a single tape drive), C11 (control unit with a single tape drive and ACL) and C22 (control unit with two tape drives and ACLs) low-cost, rack-mountable members of the family. The 400MB or 800MB non-compacted cartridge capacity, along with the IDRC standard feature and Automatic Cartridge Loaders (ACL), significantly reduced operator media handling. These 3490E C models provided midrange users -- such as the IBM AS/400 E35 and E45 -- with a very competitive tape solution, and were excellent replacement products for older 10.5-inch reel drives. The C models supported the AS/400 9406 models and the ES/9000 Model 9221 processors. They were initially available in April 1992 at a purchase price of $27,280 for the C10, $32,780 for the C11 and $64,000 for the C22.


In February 1994 IBM debuted the 3490 Magnetic Tape Subsystem Enhanced Capability Models E01 and E11 as the most reliable tape systems available from IBM for the RISC System/6000 and AS/400 processors. Compared to other 3490E units, the new models offered: additional capacity, higher performance in many situations, lower price and only 26 percent of the size of a Model C11.

The Model E01 was a table-top version and the Model E11 was a rack-mount version. Each included a seven-cartridge Cartridge Stack Loader (CSL), a 16-bit, fast-and-wide, SCSI-2 differential interface, a 3490E tape transport and an integrated control unit. The maximum effective throughput was up to 6.5MB a second.

The E01 and E11 with their seven-cartridge CSL provided an automated, unattended backup capacity of up to 16.8GB with compressible data (uncompressed the capacity was up to 5.6GB). The standard CSLs automatically loaded and unloaded cartridges as they were filled, improving efficiency by reducing the need for operator handling.

The 3490E Models E01 and E11 could be used:

The E models were available for purchase at $27,000 each, and were scheduled for initial deliveries in March 1994.


Three years after the debut of the E models, IBM announced the 3490E F00, F01 and F11 models to provide reading and writing capability to 3490 magnetic tape cartridges for small and midrange system users. They could read and write 36-track and 18-track cartridges with a single drive, including Improved Data Recording Capability (IDRC), when attached to RS/6000, AS/400 and open systems environments.

The new models included a single drive version (F00), a desk-side unit (F01) and a rack-mounted model (F11). The desk-side and rack-mounted models featured an integrated 10-cartridge autoloader. All three achieved sustained data transfer rates of 3MB a second, and -- with IDRC enabled -- sustained data rates of up to 6.8MB could be attained.

The integrated autoloader on Models F01 and F11 allowed up to 8GB (24GB compressed) of magnetic tape storage in two cubic feet of space. Customers could purchase at the F00 for $18,500, and the F01 and F11 for $22,500.


In October of 1997, IBM announced the 3490E Model F1A tape drive to provide high-performance, high-reliability 3490 tape cartridge access in the IBM 3494 Tape Library Dataserver. Standard features of the F1A are 18-track read and 36-track read/write, 3480 and 3490 tape interchange, and IDRC -- which provides up to 2.4GB of capacity per tape cartridge.

The F1A provides effective data rates up to 6.8MB per second, sustained data rates of 3MB per second and burst data rates of 20MB per second. With a planned availability date of December 1997, the F1A could be purchased at announcement for $18,500.


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