IBM has announced the world’s first tape library solution offering enterprise-class tape drive based encryption capabilities at an affordable price point for midrange corporations and enterprise workgroups.

The IBM System Storage TS3400 Tape Library brings IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Drive performance and encryption capabilities to a broader range of tape customers.

The TS3400 is designed to provide a small-sized, affordable tape library that offers encryption technology to secure corporate data and protect customer privacy.  This functionality can help midsized companies and enterprise branch offices address rapidly expanding requirements for protecting sensitive information.

The announcement expands on IBM’s leading position in tape drive based encryption capabilities.  In September 2006, IBM introduced drive-based encryption technology on new models of the IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Drives along with a range of services that delivered the world's first enterprise-class solutions for securing consumer and corporate data privacy.

"For the first time, we are making drive based encryption capabilities on an enterprise class tape drive available in a tape library solution suitable for a wide range of midsized companies," says David Chancellor-Maddison, Storage Executive IBM South Africa.

"For midsized companies and enterprise workgroups, this is a first-of-its-kind solution designed not only to bring the performance benefits of enterprise tape outside of large tape environments, but also to bring the advantages of drive based encryption to companies and their business partners."

As well as providing enterprise-class encryption capabilities in the drives, avoiding a drain on precious host resources, IBM offers a Java Encryption Key Manager to provide flexible implementation across many environments, such as AIX, i5/OS, Linux, HP, Sun and Windows.

Additionally, Tivoli Storage Manager provides encryption key management and Key Store functions for the TS1120 Tape drive.  These key management capabilities are designed to allow customers to manage key generation and distribution so that only authorised parties can decrypt the tape drive, and to keep decryption keys available when and where they are needed.

For larger enterprises that want to extend TS1120 technology from their data centres to branch or remote locations, the TS3400 allows for this functionality at a low cost and with a small library configuration.  The TS3400 also offers rapid data access technology to help manage clients’ backup and restore functions, a compact footprint for space-constrained environments, web access for easy management, and a number of availability features including dual hot swappable power supplies.

The TS3400 pairs the functionality and robustness of an enterprise drive with the small form-factor of a two-drive library that can hold up to 18 cartridges, allowing for smaller amounts of high-performance tape storage to be backed-up in a tape library at a low cost.  This new tape library offers the enterprise functions of the TS1120 tape drive, such as support for rapid access to data, multiple media options, partitioning into two logical libraries, and 4Gbps dual port Fibre Channel attachment.

The TS3400 offers various cartridge capacities with the ability to hold up to 37.8TB of compressed storage and the option for WORM storage.

The launch builds on IBM's leadership in delivering enterprise-class functionality to the midrange.  Extending its global strategic alliance with Cisco, IBM is now delivering the Cisco MDS 9124 for IBM System Storage, a midrange fabric switch with advanced capabilities at an affordable price.  High performance 1, 2 and 4 Gigabit per second links help enable customers to take advantage of the full performance potential of the newest IBM System Server and Storage solutions.

The Cisco MDS 9124 brings business flexibility to SMB customers with pay-as-you-grow scalability from 8 to 16 to 24 ports.  Full interoperability with the Cisco MDS 9000 for IBM System Storage family supports additional scalability.  Enterprise capabilities such as built-in Virtual SAN, and Cisco MDS 9000 Enterprise Package and Fabric Manager Server Package features help provide consistent service as the SAN grows.

The Cisco MDS 9124 is designed to help keep critical information available. The switch includes a hot-swappable, dual power supply feature and standard non-disruptive firmware upgrades which helps support increased data availability.

In January, IBM announced the Cisco 4Gb Fibre Channel Switch Modules for BladeCenter, providing end-to-end Cisco storage solutions for IBM blade server customers.