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Late Breaking Update on LTO-8M, The Details Behind this 9TB Option. - LTO Consortium Makes Changes to LTO-8M Branding

The details behind this “9TB option” officially changed last week. The LTO Consortium decided a change to the LTO-8M reference was required and what initially was launched as LTO-8M is now going to be referred to as LTO-7 Type M. It’s a big inconvenience for all of us, and probably going to be confusing for some at first, but unfortunately we’re all at mercy of the TPC (or LTO Consortium) on this one.

LTO Consortium Makes Changes to LTO-8M Branding

LTO GEN 7 Cartridge now initialized as "Type M" Media

What is the Change?

The LTO Program has decided to modify the way in which LTO-8M is referred to.  What was previously known as LTO-8M cartridge will now be referred to as "LTO-7 Type M" cartridge.  The TPC's have agreed upon designating LTO-7 Type M media by using an automation barcode label ending with the last 2 characters "M8".  LTO-7 Type M media has a native capacity of 9TB.  A normal LTO-7 cartridge is referred to as LTO-7 Type A, has a capacity of 6TB, and is indicated with an automation barcode label ending in "L7".  An LTO-8 cartridge is indicated with an automation barcode label ending in "L8" and has a capacity of 12TB.

Can the Media Type be Changed?

Only new, unused LTO-7 cartridges may be initialized as LTO-7 Type M media.  Once the cartridge is initialized as Type M, it may not be changed back to a 6TB LTO-7 cartridge.  Also, an LTO-7 cartridge initialized as LTO-7 Type M media can only be written and read in an LTO-8 drive, LTO-7 drives are not capable of reading LTO-7 Type M media.

How do I ensure I have LTO-7 Type M Media?

BackupWorks LTO-7 Type M media will include an "M8" barcode label, the initialization will be done by the library itself as long as it has the latest firmware updates thereby providing the 9TB/cartridge capacity.

Is there a Difference between LTO-7, LTO-7 Type M (uninitialized) and LTO-7 Type (initialized) media?

Yes.  LTO-7 and LTO-7 Type M (uninitialized) are the same price while LTO-7 Type M (initialized) media is more expensive.  Hence BackupWorks sell uninitialized media and relies on the library itself to perform the initialization free-of-charge to our customers.

Can previously used LTO-7 Media be converted to LTO-7 Type M media?

No, LTO-7 Type Media can only be created with new, un-initialized media.  Previously used LTO-7 media will remain as such for the life of the media.  Similarly, previously used LTO-7 Type M media will remain as such for the life of the media.

What happens if an LTO-7 Type M media is loaded into an LTO-7 tape drive?

The drive will post an error message indicating that the cartridge format is incompatible and will not thread the media.

Will LTO-9 tape drives be backward compatible with LTO-7 Type M media?

Only LTO-8 Drives will be capable of reading LTO-7 media initialized as LTO-7 Type M media.  If backward read in LTO-9 drives is required LTO-8 media should be used instead.

Will LTO-7 Type M media support LTO format existing features?

LTO-7 Type M media will support existing LTO format features including data compression, encryption and partitioning enabling LTFS.  LTO-7 Type M media will not be supported on WORM cartridges.

For more information, please contact your BackupWorks Account Rep at 866 801 2944.

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