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LTO-7 Type M Explained, Get the FAQ's of LTO-7 Type M Formatted Media

 

What is LTO-7 Type M

  • This is a new LTO technology feature with the formal consortium name of “LTO-7 Type M Formatted LTO-7 Media”. For simplicity, this feature is also known as “M8”. – LTO-8 drives include a new format feature enabling customers to increase the capacity of new and/or unused LTO Ultrium 7 cartridges by up to 50 percent to store 9 TB (uncompressed) or 22.5 TB (2.5:1 compressed) of data.

Can the customer use any LTO-7 cartridge to be LTO-7 (M8), or do they have to buy a specific one?

  • Customers can use any LTO-7 cartridge so long as it is new and/or unused. The formatted LTO-7 (M8) cartridges cannot be read by LTO-7 tape drives, so it’s important that customers format, label and handle the LTO-7 (M8) tapes accordingly.

How will Tape libraries and customers know which tapes are standard LTO-7 and which are LTO-7 (M8)?

  • The tapes will need to be bar coded correctly. Standard LTO tape bar codes use a L# media ID designator at the end of the label to indicate the LTO generation. For example, “L7” indicates a standard LTO-7 tape cartridge and “L8” a standard LTO-8 cartridge. The LTO-7 (M8) cartridges use bar code labels that have an “M8” media ID.
  • The media ID is the two right most characters printed on a bar code label. The media ID indicates the media type to the drive.
  • BackupWorks offers customers both pre-sequenced M8 label packs and custom M8 labeling of Quantum brand LTO Ultrium 7 media.

What happens when if LTO-7 cartridges get mislabeled.  For example, a L7 bacode placed on a LTO-7 Type M cartridge?

  • This will work like mislabeling any other LTO generation, for example, putting a L7 media ID label on a LTO-6 cartridge. In this case, Tape libraries would treat the cartridge as an LTO-7 and only place it in drives that support LTO-7 media (i.e. LTO-7 and LTO-8 drives). If the mislabeled LTO-6 cartridge was loaded into a LTO-8 tape drive (that does not support LTO-6 media), the drive would determine that the cartridge is formatted for LTO-6 and reject the tape and the library would post a RAS ticket. With an M8 label on an LTO-7 cartridge, Scalar libraries will only place that cartridge in LTO-8 tape drives, as M8 formatted media is not supported by LTO-7 tape drives.

Is the LTO-7 (M8) capability supported by Quantum tape hardware?

  • All Quantum Certified LTO-7 media ships with the standard LTO-7 format, not an M format.
  • All Quantum M8 pre-labeled media must be M formatted
  • Scalar libraries will automatically format any M8 labeled media the first time a write occurs.
  • For Quantum Stand-Alone drives and the SuperLoader 3, the StorageCareSage xTalk Management Console (xTalk) must be used to format Quantum LTO-7 media with the M format.
  • In all cases, only a new and/or unused LTO-7 cartridge can be M formatted.
  • In addition to the bar code label and formatting requirements, the M format must be supported by the application being used with the tape library and tape drive. Application support is listed in

Is this M8 type capability available on LTO-7 or other generation LTO tape drives?

  • No, this new feature is only available with LTO-8 tape drives and new and/or unused LTO-7 cartridges.

Will this M8 type capability be available with LTO-9 and all future LTO generations?

  • That has not been determined yet by the LTO consortium.

What’s the benefit of the LTO-7 (M8) media?

  • Some benefits are:
    • Customers with a supply of unused, LTO-7 tapes can get 50% more capacity on each tape with an LTO-8 Drive.
    • The $/TB may be better with LTO-7 (M8) compared to LTO-8 (L8).
    • Customers that don’t fill entire an LTO-8 cartridge for offsite of vaulting purposes can save cost by using an LTO-7 (M8) cartridge.

All prior LTO generations have supported 2-generation back read support, why won't LTO-8?

  • After seven generations (and 17 years of shipments), LTO needed a technology transition to support the higher storage densities and performance for the long-term roadmap. This transition includes both the media technology and the read/write head technology of the drives. The cost to support 2-generation read capability, and the new LTO-8 apacity/performance, makes this support infeasible.

Contact your BackupWorks Account rep today and ask about LTO-7 Type M Tape media for your LTO-8 Tape Drive or Tape Library

 

 

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