IBM Announces Tape Storage Breakthrough

August 25, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Somers, N.Y. — IBM announced it is the first company to ship products based on a breakthrough industry-standard technology for tape storage. Using IBM’s Linear Tape-Open Ultrium (LTO Ultrium) products, customers can store information with up to twice the capacity and speed at about the same cost of existing competitive technology.

The tape can transfer information at 30 megabytes per second. At that speed, LTO Ultrium could read a 300-page novel in about three seconds. Building on its portfolio of 218 tape patents in 1999 alone, the new tape storage products range from 200 compressed gigabytes in one tape drive, which is equivalent to a floor full of academic journals, and scale to nearly 500 terabytes, which is more than 24 times the printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.

With the explosion of e-business information, tape storage is increasing in importance. According to IDC, the worldwide tape automation market will nearly double in size reaching $4.6 billion by 2004.

“The announcement of LTO Ultrium is an important part of our leadership strategy for IBM’s storage business,” said Linda Sanford, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Storage Systems Group. “Superior products like LTO Ultrium — with its ability to store and access vast amounts of data with superior performance and reliability, will allow IBM to deliver open storage networking solutions – including Storage Area Networks – that none of our competitors can match.”

LTO Ultrium is intended for customers such as media companies and those doing business on the Web who need to back up large volumes of digital data. Media companies are looking for better ways to archive film footage and digitize their video libraries, and by using LTO Ultrium, these companies can automate the process of searching and retrieving video/film content. The digital format preserves the content much better than analog because it does not deteriorate.

Paramount Domestic Television’s Entertainment Tonight (ET) will use LTO Ultrium to convert more than 100,000 hours of videotape footage. Instead of manually searching through footage to find the right image, this new, automated technology reduces hours of work to just seconds. Entertainment Tonight will be able to digitally store and retrieve its archives much faster, more efficiently and less expensively.

“The time pressures of a daily television show fueled by the viewers’ appetite and demand for timely entertainment news have dictated our need for the best digital archival and production technology,” said Robert Kisor, vice president, engineering and technical services, Paramount Pictures. “We are confident that IBM’s digital asset management expertise will give Entertainment Tonight the right technical foundation for preserving and extending the value of our assets.”

The LTO Ultrium products are the culmination of an industry initiative by IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Seagate to create an open industry-standard format for digital tape. The new technology allows customers to use tapes and drives interchangeably from any manufacturer using LTO. Today, IBM is the first to deliver the products. IBM will market LTO Ultrium drives and tapes for UNIX and Windows 2000/NT users with the IBM brand and will also sell them to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

LTO Ultrium products were specifically designed for use in automated tape storage libraries that employ sophisticated robotic arms to automatically retrieve tapes. The process of selecting and retrieving the correct tape is reduced to seconds.

The LTO Ultrium family of products consists of :

— Ultrium Tape Drive has a capacity of up to 200 compressed gigabytes

— Ultrium Tape Autoloader can hold up to seven tape cartridges (1.4 compressed terabytes)

— Ultrium Scalable Tape Library automated tape library has a capacity of 18, 36 or 72 cartridges (14.4 compressed terabytes).

— UltraScalable Tape Library automated tape library can hold 877 to more than 2,400 cartridges (nearly 500 compressed terabytes).

The new technology offers many advantages over other competing formats available today:

— New breakthroughs in tape-recording density have achieved 200 gigabytes on half-inch format.

— Bands send out pulses to “electronic mileposts” that ensure as the tape is being read, forwarded or reversed, it always stays on track.

— Error correction control is used to reproduce data that might have been damaged or lost. This technology can automatically rebuild the data based on surrounding information so that the user never knows there was a problem.

UltraScalable Tape Library and Tape Drive are available September 1. Tape Autoloader and Scalable Tape Library are available October 20. For more information, visit http://www.ibm.com/storage/lto .

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