IBM Introduces New 3590 Tape Drive And Industry-Leading Virtual Tape Server Enhancements

Products Designed To Protect, Access And Manage Mission Critical Customer Data

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SOMERS, NY - 02 Jul 2002: IBM today introduced new and enhanced tape storage products to help improve the way financial institutions, hospitals, retailers, and other large enterprise customers manage, protect and access critical data and information.

Specifically, IBM introduced a new IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3590 Model H that is more scalable, and also unveiled connectivity and simplified management capabilities for the IBM TotalStorage Virtual Tape Server that improves on its already industry-leading performance.

According to industry consultants, storage area network deployments are a driving force for the continued need of enterprise tape libraries for backup, archive and disaster recovery functions.

IBM's new 3590 H Model tape drive stores up to 50 percent more information than the previous model on existing 3590 tape cartridges helping to protect customer media investments. It employs a new 384-track magnetic recording head that increases the capacity per tape cartridge.

The higher storage capacity per tape can help reduce the numbers of tapes needed for backup and, consequently, the amount of floor space needed for storage. This is important for customers that need to store large amounts of information and want to reduce the cost of their data center operations.

Both the 3590 Model H and the Virtual Tape Server (VTS) hold a significant advantage over competitive offerings with their ability to connect to mainframe systems using FICON. FICON can help lower infrastructure costs by allowing multiple ESCON channels to be replaced with a single FICON channel and longer distances between the server and tape storage devices, all while supporting significantly improved performance for backup applications.

For example, in mainframe environments using the VTS FICON Performance Accelerator feature of the VTS Model B20, the peak data transfer rate between the host and server can be increased by up to 75 percent when compared to a similar configuration using ESCON channels.

This increased performance can, in turn, help improve backup application performance. Similarly, the new 3590 Model H, as well as the 3590 Models E and B, when connected to mainframes with the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Controller 3590 Model A60 using FICON, can increase data transfer rates by up to 100 percent as compared to similar installations employing ESCON attachments. IBM was the first to offer tape FICON attachments from server to 3590 Model A60 Controller or Virtual Tape Servers. FICON channels enables a VTS Model B20 to provide greater host to tape subsystem data rates than ESCON based competitive offerings potentially increasing productivity.

This year marks IBM's 50th anniversary of magnetic tape storage. In May 1952, IBM introduced the Model 726 tape drive, which stored a total of 1.4 megabytes (equal to that of 1 floppy disk today). Earlier this year, IBM demonstrated a technology supporting the ability of storing 1 terabyte (equal to 1500 CDs today) on a single cartridge and outlined a roadmap that would take the 3590 into this new era of information processing.

"The success and continued evolution or our tape products prove that tape storage provides a critical role in today's e-business environments," said Walter Raizner, general manager for storage products, IBM Storage Systems Group. "With the shift to storage networking and an increased focus on disaster recovery and planning, tape storage simply cannot be beat for protecting valuable data that customer's use to run their operations. That's why we announced earlier this year an unprecedented roadmap for our 3590 family that is planned to lead to one terabyte tape cartridges."

With nearly 100,000 tape drives shipped from the 3590 line, IBM designed the H Model to provide an easy upgrade path from the previous B and E models so that customers can gain immediate capacity benefits with low migration costs. The H model can also read cartridges written with the B and E models, further protecting a customer's investment. The new 3590 Model H drives are available today, and upgrades from current B or E models to H models will be available on July 26, 2002.

New capabilities to the VTS 3494 are designed to help improve and simplify the way customers manage information. New capabilities provided by the Advanced Policy Management feature include:

In addition, with a new expanded Enterprise Tape Library feature, IT managers can now remotely manage and fix problems on a VTS from a remote web browser.

The new VTS Advanced Policy Management features and FICON channel attachments are available on September 6, 2002 and the FICON Performance Accelerator will be available on January 31, 2003.

The new 3590 Model H has a 14-megabyte per second native data rate and native capacity of 30 gigabytes (90 gigabytes with 3:1 compression) with the 3590 High Performance Cartridge or a native capacity of 60 gigabytes (180 gigabytes with 3:1 compression) with the 3590 Extended High Performance Cartridge.

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