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LTO Tape Technology Reaches Tape Media Shipment Milestone

Shipment trends show tape remained a key element of the growing storage landscape in 2016 and beyond

The LTO Technology Provider Companies - Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum—today released their annual tape media shipment report, detailing quarterly and year-over-year shipments.

The LTO Program announced a new record, 96,000 PB of total compressed tape capacity shipped in 2016! This record represents a 26.1 percent growth in tape capacity shipped over the LTO Program’s 2015 numbers. To put this monumental amount into perspective, one PB of data is equivalent to roughly 13.3 years of HD video. Multiply that by 96,000 for a better understanding of the sheer amount of data capacity shipped in 2016!

Greater LTO-7 tape technology density as well as the continuous growth in LTO-6 tape technology shipments were key contributors to this increase.

To help illustrate the monumental amount of tape capacity shipped in 2016, if you consider 1GB is equivalent to ~9 meters of books lined up on a shelf, a single PB would equal enough books to line a shelf stretching 9,144 kilometers long. To extend this analogy for a complete comparison, the amount of books required to represent 96,000PB of data could construct a ladder connecting Jupiter to the Sun with nearly 100 million kilometers of books to spare!

But what do all these numbers mean? This milestone in tape cartridge shipments indicates that customers continue to rely on low-cost, high-density tape as part of their current data protection and retention strategies and evolving tape technologies are becoming attractive to new areas of the market. With greater penetration of LTO-7 and LTO-6 tape technology in the marketplace, the amount of total compressed tape capacity continues to skyrocket.

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