Persistent value

By | 2 minute read | February 6, 2018

AI Strategy, Virtual Tape

People once believed that enterprise tape storage systems had no place in the 21st century data center. In the end, they were proven wrong. Industry analysts confirm that tape is thriving and has a bright future in organizations of all sizes, including some of the largest public cloud providers on the planet.[1]

image of server & storage, Virtual TapeAs it turns out, mainframe processors have experienced similar discrimination, with analysts throughout the decades predicting their imminent demise. Yet, mainframes are still described as the systems that “keep the world going,” as they run payroll, accounts receivable, transaction processing, database management and other programs critical to the world’s largest businesses.[2]

When these two resilient technologies come together on your data center floor, good things can happen. That’s why the announcement this week of new features and capabilities in our TS7700 line of virtual tape solutions for mainframes is important. It not only confirms IBM’s ongoing commitment to both technologies, it also demonstrates how TS7700 continues to innovate on a complementary trajectory with IBM Z. The results are good news for IBM customers.

TS7700 has always provided advantages for IBM mainframe users. TS7700 is IBM Z intelligent – no additional z/OS software is required to support TS7700 systems, while IBM Z enjoys full access to all IBM propriety tape library command sets. z/OS sees the entire TS7700 grid, instead of a series of independent tape libraries. And TS7700 enables efficiencies such as impressive zero recovery point objectives (RPO), thanks to its synchronous copy capabilities.

Better security, scalability, reliability and performance

The latest TS7700 release includes enhancements that help provide even better security, scalability, reliability and performance to IBM Z in today’s mainframe environments. For example, IBM has optimized data compression for TS7700, which can reduce storage requirements and network bandwidth, leading to improved overall system performance and, of course, reduced operating expenses.[3] Also, TS7700 now supports 16 Gb FICON connectivity, helping IBM customers to exploit their most current FICON infrastructure and maximize FICON throughput to IBM Z.

TS7700 systems provide data protection features such as encryption for data at rest on disk and on tape, complementing the IBM Z pervasive encryption strategy. TS7700 systems also offer Secure Data Erase to help manage the security of old data. Importantly, tape offers the advantage of portability, which allows for an “air gap” between data and online hackers, providing an effective safeguard against cyberattacks.

IBM is the leading tape storage vendor.[4] This success is the result of a more than six decades-long commitment to the technology and the adoption and execution of a product strategy based on innovation, continual improvement, constant communication with business partners and customers, and a focus on component quality.

Because of its deep integration with IBM Z and its ability to access IBM internal integration capabilities, cross-teaming, testing and design resources, TS7700 virtual tape solutions offer powerful advantages over other storage systems. The latest TS7700 release extends these advantages, providing even more reasons for mainframe-powered enterprises to choose IBM tape solutions.

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[1] Enterprise Strategy Group White Paper: Analyzing the Economic Value of LTO Tape for Long-term Data Retention, February 2016
[2] Techtarget:
[3] Based on results from IBM internal lab testing.
[4] IBM Systems Technical White Paper: Defining the future of tape, July 2017 TSW03548-USEN-00