- IBM introduced an efficient, no-frills tape library for service providers and enterprises with extremely large storage requirements and concerns about security & sustainability.
- This week, at the 2022 Open Compute Project Global Summit, IBM launched its Diamondback tape library.
- This LTO-formatted offering offers up to 27 petabytes (PB) capacity in a single rack. The Diamondback features rapid deployment and self-maintenance.
Henry Baltazar, research director for storage at 451 Research, a New York City-based technology research firm, said that storage capacity needs continue to outgrow the budgets to store, protect and manage data. He added that tape might not sound like an exciting storage technology until customers consider the power bill and capacity needs.
Scott Baker, IBM’s chief marketing officer and vice president of IBM’s hybrid cloud portfolio, said that the Diamondback could offer fast deployment, 30 minutes or less. It comes without traditional tape library features like redundant parts or multiple robots.
One analyst described IBM Diamondback as a simple way to use tape that does not need hard-to-find expertise for setup or use.
Simplicity is both a strength and a weakness. Johnny Yu, research director at IDC in Needham, Mass, said that the service and cloud providers using Diamondback could only scale out or add another unit, which takes up more floor space. Instead, they might want to build on the library.
Data Protection & Sustainability
IBM also trumpeted two additional qualities that tape offers: cyber resiliency due to the physical disconnection of the backup and sustainability because it stores data offline.
Christophe Bertrand noted that shipments of LTO tapes increased sharply in 2021 due to tape’s ability to help combat ransomware by providing organizations with an air-gapped, immutable backup.
Bertrand added that tape is also energy-efficient since it does not consume power unless used and generates little heat that needs to be dissipated. He said density also plays a factor here, as the IBM Diamondback grants 27 PB of capacity in a small footprint, needing less power for that data.
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