IBM’s new cloud solution promises huge storage gains at a low cost – with a catch

IBM has released a new tape library pitched as being specifically designed for the ‘new wave’ of hyperscalers aggregating massive customer data sets. 

The Diamondback Tape Library debuted at the 2022 Open Compute Project Global Summit, where IBM was keen to emphasise the cybersecurity capacities of the new offering, saying that it “offers critical protection against a variety of threats”.

The LTO-formatted offering apparently provides up to 27 petabytes (PB) of capacity in a single rack. The storage creates a physical “air gap”, or an isolated backup copy that is not connected to the internet, which can be useful for protecting sensitive endpoints from cyberattacks. 

How does it work?

IBM also touted the cost advantages of the solution, saying it offers approximately one-quarter of the total cost of spinning disk storage and public cloud archival services.

“Driven by an explosion in data volume, ransomware, and increased regulatory and sustainability requirements, hyperscale cloud providers are among the biggest consumers of tape storage, and are predicted to drive tape capacity shipments to new levels in 2023,” said Phil Goodwin, research vice president, IDC.

IBM’s new solution is generally available today, and shows that despite the age of tape storage technology dating back to the 1950s, LTO technology is far from dead.

A report from the LTO Program that 148 exabytes of tape were shipped in 2021, a growth rate of 40 percent in 2020.

The report attributed a fourth of the firm’s trying to cut cloud storage costs when archiving their unstructured data.

IBM continues to post relatively strong results, with the company posting an revenue of $14.1 billion, up 6% or 15% at constant currency, in its third quarter of 2022.

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