IBM has lifted the lid on its next generation of tape virtualisation solutions, with the introduction of the IBM System Storage TS7700 Virtualization Engine.
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Available from September 29 with a starting list price of $493,080, the TS7700 comprises a mainframe virtual-tape offering designed to improve tape processing while also supporting business continuity through grid connectivity and automated replication.
IBM boasts that the TS7700 Virtualization Engine builds on almost 10 years of tape virtualisation solutions — it claims to have been the first company to have introduced a tape virtualisation solution in 1997 — and offers an architecture designed to address the demands of today’s IT professionals and to provide for future growth and expandability.
The TS7700 is built on a new hardware and software architecture that incorporates global awareness functionality, enabling a Virtual Tape Grid computing environment. With global awareness functionality, data can reside on TS7700s at different sites, and each TS7700 is able to track where the data is located and access it.
The TS7700 Virtualization Engine contains a TS7740 Server, which provides host connection of up to four FICON channels, and connections to a tape library and tape drives for back-end tape processing. A TS7700 with grid communication features can be interconnected with another TS7700 to provide peer-to-peer copy capability between virtualisation engines for tape using IP network connections.