Imation’s story as a global scalable storage and data security company began more than half a century ago with magnetic tape solutions designed to protect the data stored in the world’s first institutional data centers.
Over the years, the networking of the business world, the explosion of the Web, the proliferation of e-commerce, social networking and mobile technology have all combined to create a seemingly limitless demand for secure data storage.
Today, when it comes to ensuring that your data is protected, preserved, and available when you want and need it, Imation is there. We are dedicated to helping people and organizations store, protect and connect their digital world.
1950S – 1980S – PROTECTING CORPORATE ASSETS
The business that would become Imation was born of 3M innovation in the 1950s, at the dawn of the computer age. A pioneer in the development of the first reel-to-reel data storage tape, Imation technology was for decades the standard in increasingly high-capacity data cartridges that protected and archived the most critical information.
As the digital revolution took hold in the 1980s, Imation half-inch tape cartridges became the media of choice for the massive tape libraries that today form the backbone of modern data centers. Imation remains the leader in magnetic tape media today. We work with development partners like IBM and Oracle to increase capacity, speed of data storage and access, and reliability to meet this unending data storage demand.
THE 1990S – FROM DATA CENTER, TO SMALL BUSINESS, TO THE PERSONAL COMPUTER
Imation Corp. became an independent company in a spinoff from 3M on July 1, 1996. From day one, the new company was the leader in commercial data center and emerging corporate IT markets.
Data center technology continued to advance, and a partnership with StorageTek (later a part of Sun Microsystems and now Oracle) delivered next-generation tape cartridges with the fastest data access ever in the half-inch tape market.
Not long after Imation’s launch, the company received its first patent – for Travan™ technology that quickly became a standard for small business data backup – and launched the revolutionary 120MB SuperDisk technology. By the end of the 1990s, Imation had also introduced a portfolio of recordable CD and DVD media.
THE NEW MILLENNIUM AND NEW PLATFORMS FOR GROWTH
Stylish product design became a cornerstone of Imation personal storage products in the new millennium as Imation moved into USB flash technology with the innovative Imation USB Swivel Flash Drives, the Imation Nano Flash Drive and the Micro Hard Drive. In 2006, Imation began manufacturing advanced Blu-ray high-definition recordable optical media.
In 2008, Imation pushed these innovations even further with the Imation Atom flash drive, enabling users to store up to 8GB on a drive the size of a paper clip.
Corporate IT departments were increasingly turning to storage networks, and Imation stayed in the vanguard. We helped shap the technology for new, standards-based magnetic tape media, including Ultrium™ LTO and DLtape™ cartridges. In the data center, IBM selected Imation to develop and supply extended-length 3590 cartridges, and named Imation as its global branded media distributor, leveraging Imation’s strength as a global supplier.
In 2005, Imation introduced its Tera Angstrom™ technology, the result of a $50M investment in advanced tape coating technology to meet rising storage needs. The 2008 result: the ability to put a terabyte of data on a single tape cartridge.
In 2006, Imation added several respected and sought-after brands , further strengthening its data storage position while leveraging the brands in related consumer offerings.
Imation acquired Memorex – one of the strongest recording media brands and an optical share leader in the U.S. – in 2006. In 2007, Imation acquired the recording media business of TDK Corporation, with an exclusive license to the TDK Life on Record brand for data storage and audio products. In 2007 Imation acquired Memcorp, which opened opportunities to offer a wide range of Memorex-branded consumer electronics products. And in 2008, Imation acquired XtremeMac, offering products that protect, power and play Apple devices.
IMATION TODAY AND BEYOND
In 2011, Imation reinforced its strategy as a global company focused on scalable data storage and data security. We made key investments in technology both in through organic development in our laboratories and through acquisitions.
During the year, Imation acquired ENCRYPTX Corporation and its encryption and security solutions for removable storage devices and media. We also acquired the assets of MXI Security, including MXI's portable security solutions and technologies. This was followed by our acquisition of IronKey’s secure hardware business. These acquisitions, as well as an ongoing strategic partnership with IronKey for online services, have helped Imation build a technology leadership position for securing mobile data and mobile workspaces.
Imation also acquired certain assets of ProStor Systems, including InfiniVault™, augmenting our new line of multi-tiered data-archive and data-protection appliances designed for small-and medium-sized businesses.
And in late 2011, Imation acquired patented data deduplication technology from Nine Technology. This software engine eliminates redundant data, enabling shorter backup windows, quicker recovery, lower infrastructure costs and more robust and reliable data protection.
These technologies are important building blocks for Imation’s scalable storage and data security businesses.
We are well on our way to achieving our vision as a leading global technology company that helps people and organizations store, protect and connect their digital world.
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