IBM Introduces First Linear Tape-Open Technology Drives

IBM StorageSmart Ultrium Tape Drive is First Storage Product Based on Linear Tape-Open Technology

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SAN JOSE, Calif. - 27 Oct 1999: -- Riding a wave of recent storage industry breakthroughs, IBM today becomes the first company to announce the rollout of the tape drives based on a new open tape storage architecture, Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology.

LTO technology will provide a foundation for a new generation of tape storage products with extraordinary tape capacity and performance benchmarks. Addressing a key concern of incompatibility in network tape storage environments, LTO technology may permit midrange tape storage drives and media from multiple manufacturers to interoperate.

The IBM StorageSmart Ultrium Tape Drive, for OEM and automation companies, is positioned to stake a claim in thriving midrange and network server storage environments, giving customers more choice in selecting a tape storage product. The IBM StorageSmart drive contains 100-gigabyte (GB) capacity on a single tape cartridge -- up to double the capacity of current competitive offerings -- and delivers data at up to twice the speed of current standard data transfer rates.

IBM StorageSmart drives are currently in the process of evaluation in more than a dozen key computer and storage OEMs and automation companies, including Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Quantum/ATL, and IBM Personal Systems Group.

"We expect StorageSmart Ultrium drives to play a key role in our comprehensive storage solutions for backup and archiving,'' said Dr. Helmut Beck, vice president, Storage, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Bad Homburg, Germany. "Tape compatibility in the open market has been long overdue, and we're delighted to work with IBM to bring this new technology to our customers.''

"IBM's Ultrium LTO drive will address a critical market segment which we expect to grow significantly over the next several years,'' said Kevin Daly, CEO of Quantum/ATL. "We are very enthusiastic to partner with IBM to offer this new level of performance and scalability that will help address the explosive growth we anticipate in secondary storage associated with networks.''

"IBM Netfinity will support IBM StorageSmart Ultrium tape drives early next year and will offer automated tape backup products in the second quarter of 2000,'' said Robert Galush, director, PC Options and Peripherals, IBM Personal Systems Group. "StorageSmart tape drives will provide Netfinity customers with high-performance disaster readiness and near online storage that their e-business applications demand.''

"The midrange and network server environments have been anticipating the delivery of an open tape format solution,'' said Fara Yale, chief analyst, Computer Storage Service at Gartner Group's Dataquest. "History has shown that markets which provide multiple sources for a common technology have the potential to deliver more competitive offerings at improved value points. The introduction of products to the market, combined with OEM integration of those products, are significant steps along the road to achieving broad market acceptance.''

"We're excited to be the first company to deliver an LTO product,'' said Barry Rudolph, business line manager, Removable Media Storage Solutions, IBM Storage Systems Division. "IBM has a track record in bringing new tape storage technologies to market quickly. StorageSmart is the latest milestone in a progression that includes the first virtual tape product brought to market, IBM's Virtual Tape Server, as well as Magstar 3590 tape drives, which are at the forefront of the high-end tape storage industry with function and performance advantages.''

IBM's leadership trend extends to other areas of the storage business as well. Two weeks ago, IBM debuted the 10,000 RPM 73 GBUltrastar 72ZX, the world's highest-capacity hard disk drive. Two weeks earlier, IBM established a new computer data storage world record of 35.3 billion data bits per square inch on a magnetic hard disk. In September, IBM began shipping the Enterprise Storage Server, the most advanced disk storage system in the world.

IBM is one of the largest storage companies, with the most diverse portfolio of storage solutions available. For more information on IBM StorageSmart and other storage products, visit

Fujitsu Siemens Computers was formed through a joint venture between Fujitsu Computers (Europe) Limited and Siemens Computer Systems and commenced operations on October 1, 1999. Jointly owned by Fujitsu Limited and Siemens AG, with headquarters in Amsterdam, the company has extensive European manufacturing facilities and more than 9,000 employees in 25 European countries.

Quantum/ATL is recognized as a market innovator in the design, manufacture and service of automated DLT tape library systems, available worldwide through OEMs and a network of authorized resellers and distributors.

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Note to Editors: IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

StorageSmart, Magstar and Virtual Tape Server are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

Linear Tape-Open, LTO, the LTO logo, Ultrium and the Ultrium logo are US trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines Corporation and Seagate Technology, Inc., who have participated in a joint initiative to develop LTO technology over the last two years.

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