IBM has introduced a new encrypting tape library for departments and mid-range enterprise needs but missed out LTO format support. The TS3400 supports only two drives and 18 slots, meaning 12.6TB of raw capacity with extended capacity 700GB 3592 tape cartridges. The drives are encrypting TS1120 units that offload tape encryption from the host processor. Faster access 60 and 100GB cartridges are available, also Write Once Read Many (WORM) format cartridges.

It is supported across IBM's hardware server range: mainframe System z; OS400 System i; AIX System p; and Windows System x, the Intel server line. Operating system support includes Windows 2000m; Windows Server 2003, Linux, Sun Solaris, and HP-UX. IBM offers a Java Encryption Key Manager to provide implementation across environments such as AIX, i5/OS, Linux, HP, Sun and Windows. In addition, 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 people can decrypt the data on the tape cartridges, and to keep decryption keys available when and where they are needed.

The box is either a 5U rack unit or a standalone cabinet.

Although IBM is a member of the LTO consortium, which recently released its LTO4 encrypting drive format, there is no LTO support in the new library. Other IBM libraries, from the 3,592 slot TS3500 down to the single drive TS3100 all include LTO-3 format support and can be expected to have LTO-4 support added to them in the future.

The closest match in IBM's library range for the TS3400 is the twin drive TS3200 with two LTO-3 drives and 44 slots. It does not support the encrypting TS1120 drive.

IBM positions the TS3400 as an add-on drive at the workgroup level for customers already deploying TS1120 encrypting drives in their data centres, and also for mid-sized businesses needing to secure their data by encrypting it. Cindy Grossman, IBM tape storage systems VP, said: "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."

Quantum offers either its PX502 with 31 DLT slots or its Scalar 24 with 21 DLT slots, both of which can have encryption but not at the drive level, to mid-range businesses. The DLT-S4 format offers 800GB capacity compared to IBM's extended 3592 format's 700GB.

The IBM System Storage TS3400 Tape Library will be available from March 9, 2007 with a starting list price of $30,000 (about £16,000 at current exchange rates).