New largest data storage machine by Spectra Logic

Spectra Logic, an American storage specialist, unveiled on November 8th, a tape library with 2,000 Petabytes of uncompressed data capacity in a single system. These new drives that will be available to be bought in December would be the largest single data storage machine in the world.

This was able to be achieved by using IBM’s technology, before this the company was able to only store up to 1,500 Petabytes. 

Magnetic tape dates back to 1928 but it was first used for storing computer data in 1951. In their benefits it offers long access times and slow data transfer rates, it’s the most cost-efficient way to store information, costing just a few cents per GB. They also don’t consume power when inactive and can keep data for 30 years.

The new product, launched earlier this year, goes by the name of IBM TS1160 and it counts with a brand new format for tape libraries, enabling customers to write up to 20TB of raw data onto a single cartridge, with a throughput of up to 400 MB/s. This would be the sixth generation of this technology. The previous model, named the TS1150 system, launched in 2017 and would max out at 15TB and 360MB/s.

Spectra CEO, Nathan Thompson, said “as we go into our 40th year, Spectra once again is delivering another breakthrough in tape innovation for users with immense data storage needs. To achieve this level of technological advancement, a new custom ASIC chip was developed by IBM; one that will be used in future generations of TS and LTO enterprise tape technologies, including LTO-9. Ongoing engineering feats such as these underscore the value and longevity of tape technology and validate Spectra’s commitment to offering best-in-class tape solutions that align with tape’s extensive roadmap.”

According to Spectra Logic, the new JE-class tape cartridges are engineered with aligned Barium Ferrite (BaFe) particles that provide better signal-to-noise ratios, this would enable a new capacity limit of storage. First introduced with TS1150 products, they will still maintain the advanced Tunneling Magneto-Resistive (TMR) head. 

This tape would be used for three new different products – TFinity ExaScale T950, T950v and T380. These systems are able to store up to two Exabytes of data when fully populated with new drives and tape. They would also totally support the older TS1155 and TS1150 products, and can read from even  older cartridges – but not write to them.

“To achieve this level of technological advancement, a new custom ASIC chip was developed by IBM; one that will be used in future generations of TS and LTO enterprise tape technologies, including LTO-9. Ongoing engineering feats such as these underscore the value and longevity of tape technology and validate Spectra’s commitment to offering best-in-class tape solutions that align with tape’s extensive roadmap.” Thompson added.

This technology would benefit Spectra’s customers in government, scientific research, high-performance computing, media and entertainment, and public cloud environments. 

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