Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 9 - Tape announcements

Monday there were 4 announcements around tape. If you've already seen some info about it, I'd say : don't get too excited when you work in a regular mainframe shop. Most (if not all) of them only apply to open systems. There's a new tape drive TS1140 (ZG11-0139), a new tape cartridge (ZG11-0152), a new TS3500 Tape Library Connector (ZG11-0138) and a new version of LTFS (ZP11-0215).

TS1140 Tape Drive Model E07
Tape Cartridge 3599
This is the successor of the TS1130 Tape Drive Model E06 and it drives up the native data rate performance from 160 MB/s to 250 MB/s. If formats uncompressed cartridges of up to 4TB, which more than doubles the capacity of the previous generation. Furthermore it has Dual 8Gb fibre channel interfaces with 650 MB/s max compressed data rate.

There are three new 3592 cartridge models :
  • JC - 4 TB IBM Enterprise Advanced Data Tape
  • JY - 4 TB IBM Enterprise Advanced WORM Tape
  • JK - 500 GB IBM Enterprise Economy Data Tape
it's amazing how fast things evolve. Just a couple of years ago, the 500GB cartridge was the largest version. Oh well, I just looked it up, time flies, it was actually 2005. Is there some kind of Moore's law on the growth of data cartridge capacity ?

Remains the question : why only for open systems ? Is it because the TS1120 controller wouldn't be able to catch up with this speed ? If so, is there a new controller coming ? Or does IBM have something entirely new up its sleeve ? I don't know and my crystal ball doesn't seem to be working today.

Planned availability for the TS1140 is June 3, 2011. Planned availability for the cartridge is July 22, 2011. Strangely enough almost two months later than the tape drive for which it's designed.

TS3500 Tape Library enhancements
The are two things to tell about the TS3500 tape library. First of all it supports the new tape drive. Second, there's the new TS3500 Tape Library Connector Model SC1.
Click on image for larger version in new window

It "enables extreme scalability of over 300,000 LTO cartridges (or over 900 PB of uncompressed TS1140 data) in a single library image by supporting transport of cartridges from one TS3500 library string to another TS3500 library string". I guess the picture gives you a good idea if the concept.
Again, no mention of System z.

Planned availability varies. Take a look over here for more information.

Linear Tape File System
Last but not least, there was also a new version of LTFS (Linear Tape File System) which makes it available on Tape Libraries like the TS3500. In short, LTFS makes it possible to present the content of a tape as a directory and lets you simply pick the file you want to access. But for the moment it's only with LTO5 and Linux RHEL 5.5. More info on LTFS on the IBM site or on Wikipedia.

1 comment:

aussiestorageblog said...

Great post (as usual).

The media delay is annoying but kinda out of our hands. You can of course use your old JB carts without a problem though (and get more useable capacity by doing so).

z/OS attachment for the TS1140 will be a reality soon... more to come on this once I get more details on what it will look like...