IBM’s Diamondback Tape Library focuses on hyperscaler security
Data storage innovation is often overlooked in discussions of digital transformation, where it’s easier to focus on advances in silicon, chipset, and system solutions. But the fact is that improvements in storage capabilities such as capacity and data read/write speeds are comparable to, or even better than, what compute performance has achieved.
These and other issues make IBM’s recent introduction of its new Diamondback tape library both timely and intriguing.
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IBM’s Diamondback Tape Library
How does IBM’s new tape offering address these points? The company describes the Diamondback Tape Library as “a high-density archival storage solution that is physically isolated to help protect against ransomware and other cyber threats in hybrid cloud environments.”
The new solution was designed in consultation with more than 100 hyperscalers, including “new wave” organizations and the Big Five hyperscalers.
IBM notes that Diamondback is designed to provide hyperscalers with the means to securely store hundreds of petabytes of data, including long-term archival storage with a significantly lower carbon footprint and lower total cost of ownership than disk and flash solutions. According to the company, IBM Tape solutions represent about a quarter of the total cost of spinning disk storage and archiving services in the public cloud.
Individual IBM Diamondback tape libraries fit in the same 8 square foot floor space as an Open Compute rack (a 42U, 19-inch rack). Systems can be ordered fully loaded with LTO-9 tape cartridges and are fully compatible with IBM Ultrium 9 tape drives, which can increase total capacity by up to 50% over IBM Ultrium 8 technology.
Systems can be deployed in less than 30 minutes and individual libraries can support up to 27PB of raw data or 69.5PB of compressed data. Customers can also store exabytes of data on multiple Diamondback tape libraries using erasure code software available from IBM and open source.
Like all IBM storage solutions, Diamondback tape libraries support IBM Spectrum storage applications, including IBM Spectrum Archive, and can also be equipped with data encryption and write-once-read (WORM) media. -many) for advanced security and regulatory compliance. IBM services are available for deployment, management and support. IBM Diamondback tape libraries are generally available for purchase now.
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Storage media solutions, from punch cards to solid-state drives, have all had their time in the sun, often simultaneously. Outside of specialized use cases, most earlier storage media technologies such as punch cards, floppy disk drives, and optical storage have largely fallen out of favor for professional storage.
However, enterprise tape solutions, including tape drives, libraries and media, have remained a stable and profitable business for over half a century.
Why is this the case? Primarily due to continuous development and innovations from tape vendors including IBM, FujiFilm and Sony. But it can also be said that the flexibility and adaptability of tape storage systems and media has allowed vendors to design highly effective tape solutions for businesses and emerging use cases.
IBM’s new Diamondback tape library is an excellent example of this process. The company has a long history of storage innovation, and robust, massively scalable tape storage has played a central role in IBM’s mainframe business for decades. IBM also has deep expertise in a wide range of enterprise IT processes and understands the business and technology needs of enterprise customers in a way that few vendors can match.
In other words, designing and building a tape storage solution powerful and spacious enough for organizations that regularly store, manage, and access data in petabyte and exabyte volumes is hardly a stretch for IBM given its experience in data storage and continuous R&D.
It should be noted that the Diamondback Tape Library will also complement and benefit from the company’s other storage solutions and initiatives, from the IBM TS7700 Virtual Tape Library to the recently announced transition of the portfolio and storage teams from Red Hat to IBM Storage.
Overall, IBM’s Diamondback Tape Library is an example of what the company does best: creating and delivering new offerings that meet the often daunting needs of traditional and emerging businesses, including traditional hyperscalers and ” new wave “.
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