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HP demonstrates leadership in LTO-6 backup and archive reliability

HP LTO-6 technology reaches critical milestone in performance with 1,500 new tape cartridges run continuously on a single drive with no head failure

HP has released the results of an extensive reliability performance testing program for HP LTO-6 drives. The testing, run on multiple HP LTO-6 drives, represents a significant improvement in reliability performance with over 163 million meters of media run over a single head. After using 1,500 new cartridges of HP Branded media, the HP LTO-6 drive was operating at full written capacity and transfer rate on LTO-6 media from every LTO-6 media manufacturer. This testing has been equally successful on both HP Branded MP1 and BaFe2 types of media.

New (or “green”) media cartridges are unburnished, meaning they have higher abrasivity than a tape that has been used several times. In a typical archive environment media cartridges are loaded and filled to capacity as fast as the drive can handle. The many pieces of green/new media run across the tape drive head in a short amount of time can lead to excessive wear on the head if it is not properly protected.

1. Metal Particle
2. Barium Ferrite
3. Tribology is the study of friction, wear and interacting surfaces in relative motion

The new head technology used exclusively in LTO by the HP LTO6 tape family of branded and OEM drives is a remarkable advancement in surface engineering design. It utilizes tribological-grade materials3 integrated into the head construction which fully addresses the interactive forces responsible for head wear. HP R&D engineers analyzed, in extreme detail, the reasons and fundamental science behind failures and the factors causing head wear. Like rust and erosion in nature, there can be many interacting forces responsible for this wear. The dominant factors for wear are abrasivity, chemical interactions, environment and contact force.

The enormous improvement in reliability performance on HP’s LTO6 drive is believed to be unmatched in the industry and is a direct result of the dedication of HP to improving the user experience when archiving and backing up data. These results also demonstrate the equivalent performance of HP branded MP and BaFe media in an HP LTO-6 drive.

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