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IBM's new Linear-Tape Open Ultrium 7 will hit the market later this month

IBM still hasn’t given up on tape.

The company today announced its new 6TB IBM Linear Tape-Open Ultrium  7 (LTO-7) drive that performs at 300 MB per second and has double the capacity of the previous drive. The drive will be integrated into the IBM TS4500 tape library, which launched last year, and with IBM’s new TS2270 tape drive for backup and archiving.

“Tape still is the cheapest solution out there,” said Eric Herzog, vice president of product marketing at IBM. “Eighty to 90 percent of data generally is not accessed after 90 days. You don’t want to put that stuff on primary storage if you only need to protect it for the first 90 days.”

The LTO-7 technology is also designed to support data encryption. The hardware encryption and decryption core and control core reside in the drive.

Herzog said LTO-7 allows the TS45oo to scale to 347.5 PB of storage in 18 frames while using 43 percent less floor space compared to a high-density disk system. The library can store up to 5.5 PB of data in a single ten-square-foot library which is three times the capacity of the IBM TS3500 tape library.

The system grows by adding frame models and the storage footprint can be reduced with 10U of rack space on top of the library for Fibre Channel switches, tape data movers or IBM Spectrum Archive nodes. The TS4500 tape library designed for mid-sized and large enterprises dealing with high data volumes and  growth in data centers.

The IBM TS2270 provides physical storage capacity of up to 15 TB and the data transfer performance increases up to 300 MBps with 6Gbps SAS interface connectivity. The TS2270 6 Gbps SAS interface can connect to a wide spectrum of open-system servers and the power of the TS2270 tape drive can be increased by managing it with tape management solutions such as IBM Spectrum Protect or third-party storage software.

IBM will make LTO-7 tape drives available on Oct. 23, and availability varies by automation platform. Enhancements to the TS4500 tape library will be available on Nov. 20, 2105.