New tape from IBM

IBM’s new “Ultrium” offers 15MB/sec data transfer rates and 100GB storage per cartridge. The StorageSmart tape library facilitates terabyte per sq. ft. archives.

A new tape subsystem has been released by IBM. StorageSmart LTO Ultrium Data Cartridges support the Linear Tape-Open Cartridge Memory (LTO-CM) chip, which reads and writes data with a radio frequency transmission.


The LTO-CM enables simultaneous transfer of cartridge during media load and unload cycles, improving data access speeds. AImed at the midrange and network tape storage environments, the new subsystems provide scalable solutions through to multi-terabyte libraries.


The high-end StorageSmart SL7500 Tape Library offers around a terabyte per square foot of floor space. Individual tape capacity is quoted as 100GB (uncompressed*) and data transfer to and from the media is currently around 15mb/s. Currently the drives are SCSI-attached, with fibre channel connectivity via third party NAS and SAN gateway adapters.


Future plans include a native Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop attachment (FC-AL) interface. Other features include a barcode scanner for optical cartridge recognition and automated tape inventory. A touch-screen LCD panel enables local review of library status and provides control over local functions.

*PDM Note - IBM’s marketing material entertains some confusion as to data capacities and bandwidth. Here all figures are uncompressed.

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