IBM introduces enterprise magnetic tape drive that holds 50TB per cartridge

Magnetic tape drives have long occupied the role that hard drives have shifted toward since the emergence of SSDs – cost-effective cold storage. Although they’re too slow for most users, recent developments allow magnetic drives to carry hundreds of gigabytes per square inch of tape. This week, IBM’s offerings in the space took another step forward.

The company’s new TS1170 drive can store 50TB of uncompressed data per tape cartridge using the new JF media type. Employing 3:1 compression expands the capacity to 150TB. The technology represents a 250 percent increase over the TS1160 drive and JE media, which reached 20TB uncompressed and 60TB compressed. Additionally, the TS1170 manages a native data rate of 400 MB/s, increasing to 900 MB/s when handling compressed data.

I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a used tape drive so I can use it to back up data – but mostly just to play with the technology. They’re not that expensive on eBay, but there’s quite a few different types and offerings, and it’s difficult to get a grasp on what would be a good option for a tinkerer to go for.


  1. 2023-08-28 11:52 pm
    • 2023-08-29 7:04 am
      • 2023-08-29 11:08 pm
  2. 2023-08-28 11:58 pm
  3. 2023-08-29 7:13 am
    • 2023-08-29 11:25 pm