IBM Announces Doubled Capacity, Faster Speed With Next Generation Magstar Tape Storage Product

Customers Get Twice the Value from their Existing Systems

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SAN JOSE, Calif. - 20 Apr 1999: -IBM today announced its next generation of the high-performance, high capacity

Magstar(TM) 3590 tape storage product, which doubles the current storage capacity and provides much faster data transfer speeds.

The resulting increase in capacity and performance allows customers to potentially double the storage capability of their existing tape subsystems, with better backup times, without adding more physical space.

With the new IBM Magstar 3590 E-Model tape drives, IBM continues its leadership role in delivering strategic enterprise-class tape storage solutions while protecting storage investments. The new Magstar 3590 E drives are backwards-read compatible with cartridges written on current Magstar 3590 drives and can be upgraded onsite. When used with the new drive, the more than seven million Magstar cartridgesalready owned by customers can potentially be doubled in capacity and doubled in value. The drives will begin shipping in May.

With these new enhancements, IBM continues to meet changing enterprise customer requirements driven by higher performance backup, the growth of server storage for e-Business, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other storage-intensive environments.

"Enterprise customers today are faced with great demands to decrease their backup windows and increase information availability. More than ever, they need fast, proven, reliable data protection solutions," said Barry Rudolph, business line manager, Removable Media Storage Solutions, IBM Storage Systems Division. "Magstar is already embraced worldwide as a leading tape technology, and now, with our second generation of Magstar, we're taking another major step forward in tape storage capabilities."

IBM Magstar products connect to major server platforms, both IBM and non-IBM, and are supported by leading storage management software products. With the recent introduction of the IBM SAN Data Gateway, Magstar products are already attaching to Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SANs). They are also building blocks for IBM's Seascape(1) enterprise storage architecture.

New Product Features
With today's Magstar 3590 E-Model announcement, IBM has doubled the capacity of a Magstar 3590 tape cartridge from 10 GB to 20 GB (uncompressed). The new Magstar 3590 drive will write and read data onto 256 tracks, effectively doubling the density of data tracks on current 3590 cartridges.

In addition, the drive has a 50 percent faster data rate, with performance moving from nine MB/sec. to 14 MB/sec. (uncompressed).

UltraSCSI attachment at a burst data rate of 40 MB/sec. maximum is standard. This means customers can potentially decrease backup times and more rapidly retrieve data when it needs to be restored.

The IBM Magstar 3590 Tape Subsystem, the Magstar 3590 Silo Compatible Subsystem and the Magstar 3494 Automated Tape Library will all immediately support the E-Model drives with an UltraSCSI attachment. ESCON attachment will soon follow.

Tape Roadmap
With its promise of backwards-read compatibility, customer investments in Magstar products remain protected, and IBM's commitment to the Magstar technology ensures future products will remain compatible.

IBM today previewed several additional enhancements to Magstar 3590. These include adding E-Model support for the industry-leading Magstar 3494 Model B18 Virtual Tape Server and a new, longer-length 3590 cartridge that would once again double the cartridge capacity.(2)

More About IBM Magstar 3590 and Removable Media Storage Systems
The IBM Magstar 3590 tape drive is a thriving market success, with more than 45,000 units in use worldwide. A recognized ANSI standard, IBM Magstar 3590 continues to be the leader in high-performance, high-capacity standalone and automated tape subsystems.

Magstar 3590 is also the base technology for the IBM Magstar Virtual Tape Server (VTS), where capacity, speed and data integrity are paramount.

IBM continues to improve the base technology that goes into Magstar and other IBM tape products, choosing from the vast palette of advanced IBM technologies. The tape storage business has early access to hardware and software technology development from across the IBM Storage Systems Division, from other divisions within the IBM Technology Group and through joint ventures such as Linear Tape Open (LTO).

LTO technology establishes a new open format specification for high-capacity, high performance tape storage products for midrange and network server environments. Technology licensee products must pass certification verification to ensure compatibility and quality. IBM plans to introduce LTO technology-based products this year.

For more information, visit the IBM Storage Systems Division Web site at

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* Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines.

** The performance information in this press release was derived from measurements taken in a controlled environment. Accordingly, actual performance results may vary. IBM makes no representations, and provides no assurances, that the stated performance results will be achieved.

(1) Seascape is IBM's storage enterprise architecture, a blueprint for comprehensive storage solutions optimized for a connected world. The Seascape architecture outlines next-generation concepts for storage by integrating modular "building block" technologies from IBM, including disk, tape and optical storage media, powerful processors, and rich software. Integrated Seascape solutions are highly reliable, scalable and versatile, and support specialized applications on servers ranging from PCs to supercomputers.

(2) IBM plans, previews and directions represent IBM's current intentions and, as such, are subject to change.

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