Ultrium 3 Tape Drives
The TS3310 Tape Library supports the IBM LTO Ultrium 3 Tape Drive. The IBM LTO Ultrium 3 Tape Drive is the third-generation LTO Ultrium tape drive in the IBM TotalStorage LTO Ultrium family of products. The Ultrium 3 Tape Drives and Ultrium 3 cartridges can be resident in the same TS3310 Tape Library with Ultrium 2 and Ultrium 1 data cartridges. The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive offers the following significant improvements over the Ultrium 2 Tape Drive:
- Increased performance — Maximum tape drive throughput data rate performance is more than doubled, to up to 80 MB/sec native data transfer rate. Data tracks are now written 16 at a time. IBM Ultrium 3 Tape Drives can read and write LTO Ultrium 2 data cartridges at Ultrium 2 capacities and rates, and read LTO Ultrium 1 data cartridges at Ultrium 1 capacities with improved rates. Note: Although the Ultrium 3 Tape Drive provides the capability for excellent tape performance, other components of the system may limit the actual performance achieved. Also, although the compression technology used in the tape drive can typically double the amount of data that can be stored on the media, the actual degree of compression achieved is highly sensitive to the characteristics of the data being compressed.
- Larger capacity — The tape cartridge physical capacity is doubled over the Ultrium 2 data cartridge, up to 400 GB native physical capacity (800 GB with 2:1 compression), with the use of the new IBM TotalStorage LTO Ultrium 400 GB Data Cartridge. This is achieved by increasing the linear density, the number of tape tracks, and the media length. The tape itself is an advanced metal particle tape developed to help provide durability and capacity.
- Ultrium 2 cartridge compatibility — The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive can read and write on Ultrium 2 cartridges.
- WORM media support — The IBM TotalStorage 3589 Ultrium 3 400 GB WORM Tape Cartridges are designed for applications such as archiving and data retention as well as those applications requiring an audit trail. These cartridges work with the IBM LTO Ultrium 3 Tape Drive to help prevent the alteration or deletion of user data. IBM Ultrium 400 GB WORM Tape Cartridges can be ordered as unique 3589 models with the following features:
- Pre-labeling, with the ability to specify a starting volume serial and color-coding
- Packaging in individual jewel cases or in bulk
- Cartridge memory, built into every cartridge, which helps to enhance functionality and media reliability by storing access history and media performance information for use by the tape drive every time the cartridge is accessed
- Half-inch particle tape with a 400 GB WORM native capacity in a single cartridge
- Attachment options — The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive comes with a SCSI Ultra160 LVD or native switched fabric 4 Gbps Fibre Channel attachment, for connection to a wide spectrum of open system servers. They are supported on AIX®, OS/400®, i5/OS™, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Linux, and other open systems.
- New dual-stage 16-channel head actuator — The actuator is designed to provide precision head alignment to help support higher track density and improved data integrity.
- New independent tape loader and threader motors and positive pin retention — These are designed to help improve the reliability of loading and unloading a cartridge, and to retain the pin even if tension is dropped. An independent loader motor coupled with the positive pin retention is designed to cause the tape to thread with a higher level of reliability.
- Larger internal data buffer — There is a 128 MB internal data buffer in the Ultrium 3 Tape Drive as compared to a 64 MB internal data buffer in the Ultrium 2 Tape Drive.
- Highly integrated electronics using IBM engineered copper technology — This technology is designed to reduce the total number of components in the drive, lower chip temperatures, and reduce power requirements, helping to provide for a more reliable drive. The third-generation drive electronics are designed to provide on-the-fly error correction of soft errors in the memory arrays in data and control paths.
- Graceful dynamic braking — In the event of power failure, reel motors are designed to maintain tension and gradually decelerate instead of stopping abruptly, helping reduce tape breakage, stretching, or loose tape wraps during a sudden power outage.
Proven IBM LTO Ultrium features enhanced in the IBM LTO Ultrium 3 Tape Drive include:
- Servo and track layout technology — There are 704 data tracks in Ultrium 3 versus 512 data tracks in Ultrium 2. The high-bandwidth servo system features a low-mass servo to help more effectively track servo bands and improve data throughput with damaged media in less-than-optimal shock and vibration environments.
- Surface Control Guiding Mechanism — IBM’s patented Surface Control Guiding Mechanism is designed to guide the tape along the tape path in the Ultrium 3 Tape Drive. This method uses the surface of the tape, rather than the edges, to control tape motion. This results in less tape damage (especially to the edges of the tape) and tape debris, which comes from the damaged edges and can accumulate in the head area.
- Magneto Resistive (MR) head design — Use of flat lap head technology in MR heads for Ultrium 3 helps minimize contact, debris accumulation, and wear on the tape as it moves over the read/write heads.
- Digital speed matching — The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive is designed to perform dynamic speed matching (at one of six speeds: 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80 MB/sec) to adjust the drive’s native data rate as closely as possible to the net host data rate (after data compressibility has been factored out). This helps reduce the number of backhitch repositions and improve throughput performance. Speed matching on Ultrium 3 ranges from 30 to 80 MB/sec versus 17.5 to 35 MB/sec on Ultrium 2.
- Robust drive components optimized for automation environments — The drive uses some of the most robust components available, such as: (1) all metal clutch, (2) steel ball bearings in loader, (3) robust leader block design, and (4) single circuit card, to help enhance reliability and prolong the life of the drives.
- Power management — The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive power management function is designed to control the drive electronics to be either completely turned off or in a low-power mode when the circuit functions are not needed for drive operation.
- Adaptive read equalization — This is designed to automatically compensate for dynamic changes in readback signal response.
- Dynamic amplitude asymmetry compensation — This is designed to optimize readback signals for linear readback response from MR read head transducers.
- Separate writing of multiple filemarks — Separate writing of multiple filemarks is designed to cause any write command of two or more filemarks to cause a separate data set to be written containing all filemarks after the first. This feature has two advantages: first, it helps improve performance if a subsequent append overwrites somewhere after the first filemark; second, write of multiple filemarks typically indicates a point where an append operation might occur after the first of these filemarks. This change helps prevent having to rewrite datasets containing customer data and the first filemark if such an append occurs.
- LTO Data Compression (LTO-DC) — The Ultrium 3 uses LTO-DC, which is an implementation of a Lempel-Ziv class 1 (LZ-1) data compression algorithm. LTO-DC is an extension of Adaptive Lossless Data Compression (ALDC) and an improvement over previous IBM lossless compression algorithms. IBM’s patented “Scheme-Swapping” compression is designed to look ahead at incoming data, and determine the most efficient storage method (either ALDC or pass-thru mode) to help provide optimal data compression and increase data throughput.
- LTO Cartridge Memory (LTO-CM) — Contained within the LTO Ultrium data cartridge is the LTO-CM, which is a passive, contactless silicon storage device that is physically a part of the cartridge. The LTO-CM is used to hold information about that specific cartridge, the media in the cartridge, and the data on the media. The storage capacity of the LTO-CM is 4,096 bytes. Communication between the drive and the LTO-CM is via a low-level RF field transmitted by the drive to the cartridge.
- Statistical Analysis and Reporting System (SARS) — The Ultrium 3 Tape Drive uses SARS to help isolate failures between media and hardware. SARS uses the cartridge performance history saved in the CM module and the drive performance history kept in the drive flash EEPROM to help determine the most likely cause of failure. SARS is designed to cause the drive to request a cleaner tape, to mark the media as degraded, and to indicate that the hardware has degraded.
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