IBM 3592

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The IBM 3592 is a series of tape drives and corresponding magnetic tape data storage media formats developed by IBM. The first drive, having the IBM product number 3592, was introduced under the nickname Jaguar. The next drive was the TS1120, also having the nickname Jaguar. As of October, 2014, the latest and current drive is the TS1150. The 3592 line of tape drives and media is not compatible with the IBM 3590 series of drives, which it superseded. This series can store up to 10 TB of data (uncompressed) on a cartridge and has a native data transfer rate of up to 360 MB/s.

Like the 3590 and 3480 before it, this tape format has half inch tape spooled onto 4-by-5-by-1 inch data cartridges containing a single reel. A take-up reel is embedded inside the tape drive. Because of their speed, reliability, durability and low media cost, the 3592 tape drives are still in high demand. A hallmark of the genre is interchangeability. Tapes recorded with one tape drive are generally readable on another drive, even if the tape drives were built by different manufacturers.

The TS1120, TS1130, TS1140, and TS1150 drives all include built-in encryption processing, with platform software (for example, z/OS Security Server) managing encryption keys. Prior drives require server-based software to encrypt and decrypt tapes.


  • IBM3592 aka IBM 3592-J1A ("Generation 1")
  • TS1120 aka IBM 3592-E05 ("Generation 2")
  • TS1130 aka IBM 3592-E06 ("Generation 3")
  • TS1140 aka IBM 3592-E07 ("Generation 4")
  • TS1150 aka IBM 3592-E08 ("Generation 5")


Re-usable Media[edit]

Unlike many other tape standards, the 3592 format allows an extensive re-use of cartridges already owned:

Older generation tapes can be reformatted to higher capacities with every new drive generation, according to the table below. Cartridges are expected to operate in read and write mode across at least three drive generations. The observed media replacement rate in large archives is therefore lower than with most other standards.

Technically, reformatting a cartridge means increasing its track density (only), as the linear bit density is limited by the tape coating. In the table below, a 'JA' type cartridge can be reformatted from 300GB initially to 640GB in the TS1130 drive. A later 'JB' type cartridge will carry 1TB since its better coating also permits a higher linear bit density. Generally speaking, linear density is limited by material, semiconductor and signal processing technologies, whereas track density is limited by the servo technology that prevents track runout.

Tape length (m) 3592 J1A drive TS1120 drive TS1130 drive TS1140 drive TS1150 drive
3592 JJ/JR cartridge 246 m 60 GB 100 GB 128 GB n/a n/a
3592 JA/JW cartridge 610 m 300 GB 500 GB 640 GB 640 GB read only n/a
3592 JB/JX cartridge 825 m 700 GB 1 TB 1.6TB n/a
3592 JC/JY cartridge 880 m n/a n/a 4TB 7TB
3592 JD/JZ cartridge 1,072 m n/a n/a n/a 10TB
3592 JK (short JC) cartridge 146 m n/a n/a 500GB 900GB
3592 JL (short JD) cartridge 281 m n/a n/a 500GB 2TB


External links[edit]