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LTO Ultrium Technology - Celebrates 12 Years of Safe, Secure and Cost-Effective Storage

A little more than a decade ago, the storage world changed for the better with the formation of the LTO Program. Today it represents one of the storage technology’s most successful endeavors as it reaches new milestones of more than 4 million LTO drives and nearly 200 million LTO tape cartridges shipped since the Program’s inception. This translates into more than 80,000 PB (uncompressed) of storage capacity on LTO Ultrium tape worldwide.

That’s a lot of data. Here are a few things to consider:

1 Terabyte is all the X-ray films in a large technological hospital

10 Terabytes represents the printed collection of the U. S. Library of Congress

2 Petabytes represents the content of all U.S. academic research libraries

200 Petabytes is the equivalent to all printed material

5,000 Petabytes is all of the words ever spoken by human beings

It’s not only the continuous increases in capacity and data transfer rates driving this success. The LTO Program designed an open platform for compatibility among multiple providers, helping to enable options for storage managers to keep costs low and systems simple.  The technology has delivered new, innovative features such as tape hardware encryption to help secure data, WORM (Write Once Read Many) capability to address compliance needs and media partitioning to open the door for new use cases and applications such as the exciting Linear Tape File System (LTFS) to help make tape data access and management easier.

The need for compatible, cost-effective tape backup and archive solutions remains an important part of the IT infrastructure - and this is more important than ever as the amount of data stored on tape continues to increase dramatically. The LTO Ultrium Generation 6 format is designed to continue to provide core functionality to enable broader use of the technology in a wide range of solutions.  Earlier this month the LTO Program announced plans to release the specifications for LTO Ultrium generation 6 that are expected to call for more than double the compressed capacity of the previous generation and further increase transfer rates helping to protect more data assets while providing open standards including backwards read and write compatibility and cross vendor interchange.

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