IBM Adds VXA 320 Tape Drive to i5 Line
February 13, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As part of the System i5 announcements two weeks ago, IBM rolled out a new low-end tape drive for the i5 line. The feature 6279 drive is a 160 GB VXA-320 tape drive, and it costs $1,500. IBM says that it is three times faster than the 30 GB quarter-inch cartridge (QIC) tape drive that has been the entry tape product in the iSeries line for a while. The VXA-320 drive, at a 12 MB/sec data transfer rate, has twice the speed of its predecessor, the VXA-2 drive that IBM launched in the first i5 systems in 2004. Obviously, the VXA-320 supports compression, which gives it a 24 MB/sec transfer rate and a 320 GB capacity per VXA tape.
The VXA-320 drive requires i5/OS V5R3 or V5R4 on the i5, and luckily, IBM’s AIX 5L V5.2 and Red Hat and Novell Linuxes have been certified on the tape drive, which means if you use AIX or Linux on logical partitions, you can share the VXA-320 drive with i5/OS partitions.