IBM revamps tape virtualization

By Kevin Komiega

—IBM beefed up its virtual tape offerings for mainframe environments this week with the introduction of the Virtualization Engine TS7740, a virtual tape system designed to support business continuity through grid connectivity and automated replication.

The Virtualization Engine TS7740 includes data encryption and features a new "Three Site GRID Configuration," which can automatically duplicate tape data across three data-center sites to ensure availability in the event of an outage or disaster.

This new capability is designed to enable what Big Blue calls a Virtual Tape Grid computing environment that allows data to reside on TS7740s at three different sites. Prior to this release the TS7740 only supported a Two Site GRID.

Other new features of the TS7740 include on-demand performance and cache capacity increments that allow the system to be tailored for specific application performance and capacity needs. The TS7740 now features a 1TB single-cache drawer configuration for smaller businesses that require less capacity, and a Copy Export function designed to allow export of data from a stand-alone or GRID TS7740 for disaster recovery.

Support for Three Site GRID, Copy Export for stand-alone TS7740s, on-demand performance and cache capacity increments will all be available next month. A 1TB single-cache drawer configuration and support for Copy Export for GRID configurations will be available in November.

In addition to the TS7740, IBM also announced the System Storage TS1120 Tape Controller, which allows TS3400 tape libraries to be attached to IBM mainframe platforms, providing mainframe users with tape drive-based encryption capabilities. The controller will be available next month.

This article was originally published on July 11, 2007