Among the IBM storage announcement last week, a 10TB (native) tape cartridge was announced in conjunction with the new TS1150 tape drive TS1150 Announce. This offering is the highest capacity tape offering in the marketplace, surpassing the Oracle StorageTek T10000D 8.5 TB tape capacity which was announced last year T10000D. This new capacity point continues to position tape storage as a very cost effective, highly reliable solution for data protection.
The TS1150 is the latest in a long series of IBM tape drive offerings whose lineage can be traced back to the 3592-J1A. The J1A was announced in September, 2003. The J1A was a radical departure from the previous enterprise tape technology, incorporating new, smaller tape drive packaging and improved tape media. The capacity for the tape cartridge was 300 GB, the highest capacity commercial tape offering in the marketplace at the time.
Putting this announcement in perspective; the 10TB tape cartridge is a 33X improvement over 11 years. This represents a compound annual capacity improvement rate of 37%. Imagine that you were able to invest $1000 in 2003 and the investments earned a 37% annual rate of return. The current value of those investments would be 33,000!
The industries continued capacity improvements enable customers to store very large amounts of data, at extremely competitive costs. This latest announcement, in combination with the tape technology announcements by IBM/Fujifilm New Record and Sony Sony highlight the fact that tape is an ideal solution for data protection and retention today, and likely for the foreseeable future too.