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LTO Celebrates 10 Years Anniversary

3.5 million drives and 150 million cartridges shipped

The Linear Tape-Open (LTO) program and its technology provider companies, HP, IBM and Quantum, celebrated the 10-year anniversary of LTO tape drive availability. Since 2000, LTO products have changed the storage industry by providing a tape technology that is a core component of data storage best practices with more than 3.5 million drives shipped worldwide, according to a recent study by IDC.

Additionally, there have been over 150 million cartridge shipments, according to Santa Clara Consulting Group, helping to establish the LTO Ultrium format as a dependable and reliable data protection technology.


LTO-1 100/200GB LTO Ultrium-1
LTO-2 200/400GB LTO Ultrium-2
LTO-3 400/800GB LTO Ultrium-3
LTO-4 800/1600GB LTO Ultrium-4
LTO-5 1500GB/3000GB             LTO Ultrium-5                
HP Bundled Drives LTO Barcode Labels

"The LTO Ultrium format has become the data protection tape technology of choice because it delivers a powerful, scalable, adaptable open tape format," said Sanjay Tripathi, Director and Business Line Executive, IBM Data Protection and Archive Systems. "The formula for success has many attributes including multiple sources of drives and media, innovation with WORM tape, encryption, and a new file system, and a roadmap with a vision for future technology needs with high capacity and high performance at an attractive investment."

In 1998, HP, IBM and Seagate (whose participation was acquired by Quantum) set out to develop an 'open format' technology so that users would have multiple sources of compatible tape products and media. Each company provided expert knowledge of customer needs and complementary intellectual property that allowed for delivery of a best-of-breed tape technology and a strong foundation for data interchange. The result was the Linear Tape-Open format. Other companies have since participated in this tape industry opportunity through the open licensing process.

"The LTO program is a tremendous success story," said Robert Amatruda, research director for data protection and recovery at IDC. "LTO products have been a core part of storage solutions for the past decade and continue to be at the forefront of the tape storage industry."

Tape continues to be a key component of backup and archive storage infrastructures. It is used to address multiple layers of protection, including the retention of offsite and offline copies of data to avoid the impact of intentional or accidental data corruption that can occur with on-line copies. Additionally, the latest LTO tape drive products provide native AES 256-bit encryption to help protect data at rest and while tape cartridges are in transit.

The LTO program recently released the 5th generation of the LTO Ultrium format, which offers 1.5TB of native capacity and up to 140 MB/sec native transfer rates, and now provides an innovative partitioning feature that can enable new tape uses. This partitioning feature includes a new file system called Linear Tape File System (LTFS) that allows access to data on LTO tapes in a manner similar to that of a removable hard disk drive and offers directory tree access to tape files. LTO 5 tape provides a simple and convenient way to store, access and protect short and long term data, video and audio files. The LTO Ultrium format delivers a powerful, scalable and adaptable open tape format exemplified in LTO 5 technology.

The LTO program also announced earlier this year that it had extended its product roadmap through generation 8 allowing for compressed cartridge capacities of up to 8 TB for generation 6, 16 TB for generation 7 and 32 TB for generation 8.

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