Home Enterprise IBM TS1170 50TB High-Density Tape Drive Announced

IBM TS1170 50TB High-Density Tape Drive Announced

by Harold Fritts

IBM announced a new high-density tape drive with a storage capacity of 50TB native in a single cartridge, and 3:1 compression delivers vast storage capabilities. The IBM TS1170 Tape Drive addresses the massive growth in data that demands various strategies for managing and securing information effectively.

IBM announced a new high-density tape drive with a storage capacity of 50TB native in a single cartridge, and 3:1 compression delivers vast storage capabilities. The IBM TS1170 Tape Drive addresses the massive growth in data that demands various strategies for managing and securing information effectively.

In concert with the release of the TS1170 tape drive, IBM and Fujifilm announced the development of the sixth-generation IBM 3592 JF tape cartridge featuring the highest native data tape cartridge capacity available today. The  IBM 3592 JF tape cartridge incorporates a newly developed technology featuring fine hybrid magnetic particles to enable higher data storage capacity and is used with IBM’s TS1170.

The success of achieving this high-capacity cartridge evolved from technologies developed in prior tape generations. This involved enhancing the real recording density (the amount of data that can be recorded per square inch) and the overall recording area (the surface area capable of recording data). The JF cartridge also features 15 percent longer tape than the previous fifth generation, made possible using a thinner and stronger base film to support the magnetic layer.

We ran the news when IBM announced the DiamondBack Tape Library with support for 27PB capacity in a footprint that makes deploying the system easy and rapid. The DiamondBack Tape Library extended the tape’s addressable market to “New Wave” Hyperscalers. The TS1170 demonstrates IBM’s commitment to continue the evolution of tape drives.

IBM TS1170

Modern scenarios like big data, cloud computing, and analytics often demand a hyperscale approach to achieve business goals efficiently. The IBM TS1170 Tape Drive caters to environments dealing with vast data storage needs, offering a solution to reduce the total cost of ownership. This tape drive empowers organizations to optimize capacity utilization and establish secure, long-term data retention, all at a lower cost than disk or flash solutions.

Beyond data storage, organizations require reliable backup and recovery systems to manage everyday data protection tasks. On their own, most systems are insufficient to counter the risks posed by natural disasters like floods, wildfires, and the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks.

The TS1170 Tape Drive is purpose-built to offer sustainable and cost-effective data storage solutions that address challenges such as surging data volumes, escalating energy expenses, frequent cyberattacks, and the shortage of IT staff.

The TS1170 Tape Drive offers exceptional data storage, boasting up to 150TB per cartridge capacity when utilizing 3:1 compression. This drive sets a new standard for ultra-high capacity, featuring a native data storage capability of up to 50TB in a single JF cartridge. Moreover, the compression technology allows each tape drive to store an impressive 150TB per JF cartridge efficiently. This substantial capacity equips organizations to effectively address the challenges arising from the exponential growth of data, providing a robust and scalable solution to safeguard and manage critical information.

IBM TS1170 Tape Drive Specifications

Recording technique

Linear Serpentine

Native capacity (uncompressed)

50 TB (using JF media)

Native sustained data rate (uncompressed)

400MBps (Type F media)

Burst rate


High-speed search (max)

12.4mps end-end search rate

Host interface

3592-70F: Fibre Channel 16 Gbps 3592-70s: SAS 12 Gbps


One year


70F/70S Model: 93 mm H x 186 mm W x 467 mm D (3.7 in x 7.3 in x 18.4 in)


70F/70S Model: 5.57 kg (12.25 lbs)

Operating environment

Allowable temperature

16to 25C (60 o to 77 o F)

Relative humidity

20% to 50% non-condensing

Maximum dew point temperature

25C (72 o F)

Power dissipation (drive and integrated blower)

57 Watts

By integrating NIST-approved AES-256 encryption, the TS1170 Tape Drive takes a leading role in high-performance data storage, ensuring both efficiency and security. This advanced encryption mechanism delivers robust data protection, safeguarding sensitive information against potential threats and unauthorized access. The tape drive’s support for path-failover further enhances its reliability, minimizing the risk of operational disruptions within a cybersecure infrastructure.

The TS1170 Tape Drive extends its data protection capabilities with air-gapped isolation, setting a benchmark for cyber resilience in the digital era. This technology creates a physical separation between an organization’s primary storage systems and the TS1170, establishing a robust air gap that acts as a potent defense against cyber threats. This air-gapped isolation ensures that archived data remains shielded from potential attacks targeting the primary storage environment.

The enhanced TS1170 Tape Drive boosts native capacity using next-gen JF media, safeguarding tape automation investments with compatibility. Features of the IBM TS1170 Tape Drive include:

  • Standard Fibre Channel and SCSI connectivity support
  • Integration into the IBM TS4500 Tape Library
  • Field upgradable for existing clients
  • Support for RAO, which improves recall and time to first byte
  • Air gap, which improves cyber resilience by isolating tape media from primary storage

The TS1170 Tape Drive takes a forward-looking approach to cybersecurity, providing a security-rich barrier that empowers organizations to stay ahead of emerging risks. This tape drive solidifies its reputation as a dependable and advanced solution for ensuring data integrity, continuity, and cyber resilience by employing air-gapped isolation. The TS1170 Tape Drive contributes to safeguarding critical data in the ever-evolving digital landscape, allowing businesses to embrace digital transformation confidently.

IBM Tape Storage Solutions

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