IBM 3592

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3592 tape cartridge

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 November 2018, the latest and current drive is the TS1160 Gen 6. The 3592 line of tape drives and media is not compatible with the IBM 3590 series of drives, which it superseded.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 20 TB of data (uncompressed) on a cartridge and has a native data transfer rate of up to 400 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.

Since TS1120 all drives 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.


Gen 1 Gen 2 Gen 3 Gen 4 Gen 5 Gen 5A Gen 6 Gen 8 Gen 9 Gen 10
Product Name 3592 [1] TS1120 [2] TS1130 [3] TS1140 [4] TS1150 [5] TS1155 TS1160 TS1165 TS1170 TS1180
Product Code 3592-J1A 3592-E05 3592-E06 3592-E07 3592-E08 3592-55F (Fibre Channel)

3592-55E (Ethernet) [6]

3592-60F TBA
Release date 2003 [7] 2005 [8] 2008 [9] 2011 [10] 2014 [11] 2017 [12] 2018 TBA TBA TBA
Native/raw data capacity 300 GB 700 GB 1 TB 4 TB 10 TB 15 TB 20 TB 30 TB 40 TB 80 TB
Max uncompressed speed (MB/s)[Note 1] 40 100 160 250 360 360 400 500 500 1000
Compression capable? Yes
WORM capable? Yes
Encryption capable? No Yes
Partition capable? No Yes
  1. ^ Maximum uncompressed speeds valid for full height drives. Half height drives may not attain the same speed. Check manufacturer's specifications.


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.

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 300 GB initially to 640 GB in the TS1130 drive. A later 'JB' type cartridge will carry 1 TB 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.

IBM 3592 tape cartridges Capacity when formatted in
Gen Type Code Length 3592 J1A TS1120 TS1130 TS1140 TS1150 TS1155 TS1160
1 RW JA 610 m 300 GB 500 GB 640 GB
WORM JW 610 m 300 GB 500 GB 640 GB
RW, short JJ 246 m 60 GB 100 GB 128 GB
WORM, short JR 246 m 60 GB 100 GB 128 GB
2 RW JB 825 m 700 GB 1 TB 1.6 TB
WORM JX 825 m 700 GB 1 TB 1.6 TB
3 RW JC 880 m 4 TB 7 TB 7 TB 7 TB
WORM JY 880 m 4 TB 7 TB 7 TB 7 TB
RW, short JK 146 m 500 GB 900 GB 900 GB 900 GB
4 RW JD 1,072 m 10 TB 15 TB 15 TB
WORM JZ 1,072 m 10 TB 15 TB 15 TB
RW, short JL 281 m 3 TB 3 TB 3 TB
5 RW JE 1163 m 20 TB
WORM JV 1163 m 20 TB
RW, short JM 320 m 5 TB
  • The TS1150 drive CAN NOT read or write to any Gen 1 or Gen 2 cartridges.
  • The TS1140 drive CAN read but not write to Gen 1 cartridges of any format, and Gen 2 cartridges in TS1120 format. It can however, read and write to Gen 2 cartridges in TS1130 format.
  • 3592 media datasheet
  • IBM 3592 Cartridges and Compatibility


  1. ^ IBM's 3592 product page
  2. ^ IBM's TS1120 product page
  3. ^ IBM's TS1130 product page
  4. ^ IBM's TS1140 product page
  5. ^ IBM's TS1150 product page
  6. ^ "TS1155 Tape Drive models for the TS4500 tape library deliver up to 15 TB native capacity and enable reuse of existing JD media with increased capacity for investment protection". 9 May 2017.
  7. ^ IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3592 Model J1A
  8. ^ IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Drive Model E05 enhances performance and capacity
  9. ^ New IBM System Storage TS1130 Tape Drive Delivers New Capacity and Performance for Clients
  10. ^ IBM System Storage TS1140 Tape Drive Model E07 delivers higher performance, reliability, and capacity
  11. ^ IBM TS1150 tape drives deliver the fastest and largest capacity drive for enterprise archiving and data protection
  12. ^ "IBM wheels out bleedin' big 15TB tape drive • The Register". The Register.

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