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Introducing an extended tape standard – Long live LTO!

In mid-September, the new extended roadmap for LTO tape format was finally released. It shows that magnetic tape is still the key storage medium during times of growing storage requirements. Large amounts of data (big data) need to be stored for archive and backup materials, both inexpensively and for the long term. This is also reflected in the new format types which have been presented, LTO 9 and LTO 10.

The most important thing to mention first of all is that the future of LTO Version 10 tapes can store up to 120 terabytes of data with a transmission speed of up to 2,750 megabytes per second. Therefore, the magnetic tapes for modern storage systems are almost equivalent, at least in terms of the amount of memory that is frequently used by enterprise hard drives. Upcoming magnetic tapes with the newly introduced LTO 9 format bring them into the future with transfer speeds of up to 1,770 MB/s. Also, there’s more extended space on the storage media: an LTO 9 tape can hold up to 62.5 terabytes of data. Since magnetic tapes are not meant for quick-access usage, speed does not play a major role in its capabilities. However, the standard here reflects how the manufacturer has advanced technologically.

The LTO standard was introduced in 2000 and provides that each generation is fully compatible with its respective predecessor. The current version is LTO 6. With this version, tapes can save up to 6.25 terabytes of data and reach transfer rates of up to 400 MB/s. Since LTO 5, tapes have encryption, partitioning and WORM (write-once, read-many) technologies.

Anyone who is thinking of gradually upgrading their old tapes to the latest generation based on the extended roadmap can still get help, even if they no longer have the correct hardware. This is not just from LTO to LTO, which is relatively easy with the required hardware and software, but also from earlier format types such as DLT, Super DLT, AIT, DDS, Mammoth, SLR and 4 or 8 mm tapes. Additionally, in similar cases, it makes sense to consider both the archive and backup software solution which is used and, if applicable, to migrate in order to be up-to-date here too.  Therefore, for example, data can be transferred to a number of other common solutions, e.g. Tivoli TSM, NetBackup or NetWorker to Commvault; NetBackup or NetWorker to Tivoli TSM; or from CommVault to Tivoli TSM, NetBackup or NetWorker. There is the right solution for every need.

More information

Kroll Ontrack can assist with tape format migrations and other tape services. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

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