IBM Unveils New LTO6 Gear And A Storwize SAN
November 12, 2012 Alex Woodie
IBM last week announced a variety of new LTO6 products, including a full-height SAS tape drive, a half-height SAS drive, a new LTO6 autoloader, and support for LTO6 drives in three tape libraries. The company also announced the versatile new Storwize V3700 storage array, which offers midrange shops various SAS drive and connectivity options.
The new TS2260 Tape Drive Model H6S is a half-height, SAS-connected LTO6 drive that can be installed in a rack or stand by itself. The TS2260 has a 512GB internal memory buffer, includes 16 KB cartridge memory, uses the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), and supports encryption. It has a list price of $3,912. For more information, see announcement letter 112-158.
The new TS2360 S63 is a full-height LTO6 tape drive with dual 6 Gbps SAS interfaces, which IBM says gives it better “availability and attachability.” It features 1 GB of internal buffer memory; supports 16 KB cartridge memory, LTFS, and encryption; can be installed in a rack or function as a stand-alone device; and carries a list price of $5,211. For more information, see announcement letter 112-161.
IBM now has three LTO6 drives in its Total Storage lineup. It announced its first LTO6 drive, the full-height, Fibre Channel-connected TS1060, in early October. That drive, which goes into the top-end TS3500 tape library, carries a hefty list price of $25,855.
All of IBM’s LTO6 drives–indeed all LTO6 drives period–offer the same raw performance capabilities, including a maximum data transfer rate of 160 MB/sec (up from 140 MB/sec with LTO5), total native capacity of 2.5 TB or 6.25 TB with 2:5 to 1 compression (compared to 1.5 TB of native capacity with the LTO5, and 3 TB with 2 to 1 compression). Of course, your level of compression and transfer rates will vary.
IBM also made a statement of direction announcing plans to ship LTO6 cartridges at some point in the future. In the meantime, LTO5 media will work in the TS2260, although users won’t get all the performance benefits.
The new TS2900 autoloader is designed to be used with the new half-height TS2260 LTO6 drives. The rack-mounted device features a 6 Gbps SAS interface to host servers, capacity for up to nine LTO media cartridges, and a barcode reader. It becomes available December 7 at a cost of $6,426, a price which includes a half-height LTO6 drive. For more information, see announcement letter 112-159.
IBM also announced support for LTO6 drives with its TS3310, a midrange tape library, and the TS3100 and TS3200, two entry-level tape libraries.
The TS3310 is expandable, with the main unit containing one or two drives (including LTO4, LTO5, and LTO6 units), a configurable I/O station of six slots, and 35 fixed tape cartridge slots, while each expansion units supports up to four drives and 12 movable cartridges slots in the I/O station. The full-height LTO6 drive feature (with dual-port, 8 Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces) costs $18,744 on this tape library. For more information, see announcement letter 112-163.
The TS3100 can take one or two half-height LTO tape drives or one full-height tape drive, and supports 24 cartridge slots in two removable magazines, including a standard one-cartridge I/O station and a barcode reader. The TS3200 can accommodate up to four half-height LTO drives or one or two full-height drives, and has 48 data cartridge slots in four removable magazines, including a standard three-cartridge I/O station and barcode reader.
The full-height Fibre Channel LTO6 drive feature for the TS3100 and TS3200 libraries cost $7,789, while the half-height Fibre Channel LTO6 drive feature costs $4,838. The half-height SAS LTO6 drive feature for the libraries costs $4,608.
IBM also says that, with the addition of LTO6 support, it has added new Control Path Failover and Data Path Failover capabilities to the TS3100 and TS3200 libraries. IBM is also now offering its RDX 3.0 Removable Disk Drive Docking Station for TS3100 or TS3200 customers who buy the System Storage 7226 Multi-Media Enclosure Model 1U3. The RDX removable disk drive docking station plugs into the library using a USB 3.0 port, and can accommodate a ruggedized disk drive cartridge that come in capacities ranging from 320 GB to 1 TB. The idea here is that the RDX 3.0 technology provides a quick, easy, and durable way to move data offsite. For more info on the changes to the TS3100 and TS3200 libraries, see announcement letter 112-201.
IBM also unveiled the Storwize V3700, a highly configurable new storage area network (SAN) that can be equipped with a mix of 11 SAS drives and that connects to Power Systems, x86, Itanium, and Sparc servers through three network storage protocols.
The V3700 comes in two basic two flavors: an enclosure that can support a dozen 3.5-inch SAS drives or another one that supports two dozen 2.5-inch SAS drives. Within each style of enclosure and form factor, users can mix and match SAS drives of various capacities.
IBM offers nine 2.5-inch drives, including 200 GB and 400 GB solid state drives for the hottest data; 146 GB and 300 GB drives spinning at 15,000 RPM; 300 GB, 600 GB, and 900 GB drives spinning at 10,000 RPM; and 500 GB and 1 TB archival drives spinning at 7,200 RPM. Only two 3.5-inch SAS drives are supported: 2 TB and 3 TB spinning at 7,200 RPM. iSCSI host attachment support (at 1 Gb speed) is standard, with an option for 8 Gb Fibre Channel or 10 Gb iSCSI or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). For more information, see announcement letter 112-181.