Fujifilm Unspools BaFe Storage for IBM's TS1150 Tape Drive

Posted on October 23, 2014 By Pedro Hernandez

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IBM has tapped Fujifilm to provide storage for its new the high-performance tape drive.

Earlier this month, IBM quietly announced the TS1150. The new tape drive supports 10 TB tapes (uncompressed) and can transfer data at a rate of 360 megabytes (MB) per second versus 250 MB per second data rate performance of its predecessor, the TS 1140. The first TS1150 tape drive models ship on Oct. 24, with the remainder scheduled to ship on Nov. 21.

Today, Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A. announced that it will supply tape capacity for the TS1150.

Fujifilm will be producing tapes, dubbed IBM 3592 Advanced Data Cartridge Type D, that support the TS1150. Key to making long-lived, high-performance tape media for enterprise data archives is the company's Barium-Ferrite (BaFe) particle technology.

In a statement, the company explained that its BaFe-based manufacturing process exhibits lower noise, higher frequency characteristics and all-around better performance than other metals. Fujifilm also asserted that its suite of NANOCUBIC technologies (NANO particle, NANO coating and NANO dispersion) yield an "an ultra-smooth thin magnetic layer by coating BaFe particles uniformly, which prevents tape surface waviness and uneven thickness."

BaFe is proven, according to Fujifilm corporate vice president Norio Shibata. In collaboration with IBM, the company demonstrated that the tape storage technology can achieve data densities of 6.67 GB per square inch in 2006 and 29.5 GB per square inch in 2010. The technology has also been featured in Oracle's wares.

In May, the companies hit 85.9 GB per square inch, "which is equivalent to a single tape cartridge capable of holding 154 terabytes of uncompressed data," said Shibata in prepared remarks. Fujifilm's accelerated environmental testing procedures have revealed that the BaFe tapes can hold onto data for at least 30 years.

BaFe particles aside, the IBM 3592 tapes will feature "a strong thin base film and a newly designed reel brake for high speed seek, resulting in a highly reliable high capacity tape with faster access times," claimed Fujifilm.

The Fujifilm-produced tape cartridges "will enable customers to realize much higher densities, while improving the average time to data on the extended length cartridge," said Shawn Brume, business line executive, IBM Data Protection and Retention. "The 10TB cartridge density continues to demonstrate tapes viability as the best choice for persistent data in Big Data and Cloud provider implementations."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.


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