IBM Corp finally made it clear yesterday that it really is serious about the OEM disk drive business with the launch of an array of new products headlined by a 120Mb 2.5 drive and erasable optical drives – a technology it used to rubbish unmercifully when Storage Technology Corp seemed set to come to market […]
IBM Corp finally made it clear yesterday that it really is serious about the OEM disk drive business with the launch of an array of new products headlined by a 120Mb 2.5 drive and erasable optical drives – a technology it used to rubbish unmercifully when Storage Technology Corp seemed set to come to market with such a drive. In addition, IBM is showing several prototype storage products at Hannover. Among them are 1.6Gb and 2.0Gb versions of its magnetoresistive head 3.5 drive and a RAID-5 storage product for servers with 400Mb or 1Gb 3.5 drives to provide up to 7Gb storage. The new 2.5 drives are a 60Mb model 0.5 high and the 120Mb at 0.67 high at $350 and $450 respectively from next quarter. The company has extended the capacity of its 3.5 drive with the magnetoresistive heads to 1.2Gb – the disk will be available in the third quarter and IBM says it will be among the first 1.2Gb 3.5 drives in full production. The drive uses independent elements to write and read data: an inductive element for writing and the magneto-resistive element for reading, so that data can be read more accurately and quickly than with traditional heads and information can be packed more densely onto the drive surface. IBM will also offer a storage unit that contains two 1.2Gb drives in a 5.25 form factor. Called the 0663-E, it costs $3,750 with SCSI-2 interface. At the other end of the scale, there are two new low-end 3.5 drives, an 80Mb that is $300 in evaluation quantities, and a 160Mb at $355. IBM also said that its 80Mb 2.5 drive, unveiled last year, will be offered, on a special bid basis, as a removable hard disk drive that can fit into existing 3.5 drive bays. The new optical disk drives are a faster model of IBM’s 3.5 erasable optical drive and an erasable 5.25 drive. The 127Mb 3.5 model has a data transfer rate of 625K-bytes per second and an increased rotation speed of 3,000rpm, up from 384Kbps and 1,800 rpm in the original model announced last spring. The seek time is improved to 40mS from 60mS. It is $1,200, next quarter. The erasable 5.25 optical drive offers 650Mb unformatted; it is $2,600 from the third quarter. Also available to OEM customers is a new rack-mounted half inch magnetic tape subsystem in three models with 36-track recording technology, Improved Data Recording Capability and the Enhanced Capacity Cartridge System Tape to store up to 2.4Gb on a single cartridge. Combined with Automatic Cartridge Loader feature on high-end models, total unattended back-up capacity can be 14.4Gb to 28.8Gb; the three models are $31,000, $36,200 and $65,800 from the third quarter.