LTO 6 storage adoption outpaces previous generation

More storage managers, content developers and information technology professionals have turned to LTO technology as a reliable and cost-effective storage solution.
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The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), HP, IBM and Quantum say the adoption rate of LTO Generation 6 tape cartridges is faster than that of the previous generation cartridge-based storage technology.

The upward trend in shipments comes as more storage managers, content developers and information technology professionals turn to the latest generation of Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology for a reliable and cost-effective storage solution to handled the rapidly growing amount of data and content that is being generated in the digital era.

The required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry alone is expected to increase by more than 500 percent by 2018, predicted Coughlin Associates, a data storage consulting firm based in Atascadero, CA.

“Big Data is affecting every organization, regardless of size. However, its impact is even greater in such industries as healthcare, energy exploration and broadcast productions,” said Bina Hallman, vice president of IBM Storage Systems Product Management. “The massive data volumes generated, shared and stored in industries like these require even greater reliability, security and accessibility. The LTO Program has been on the forefront of providing technology that offers a cost effective method for protecting, archiving and easily retrieving large amounts of data to help organizations mitigate risk, enhance resiliency and improve productivity.”

LTO technology also continues to lead the tape data storage industry as it surpasses new milestones. More than 4.4 million LTO 6 drives have been shipped since the beginning of the program in late 2012, said IDC, a global consulting company. 

Another milestone was reached as the 225 millionth LTO cartridge was shipped. The aggregate capacity of these cartridges represents the potential of more than 90,000 petabytes of data protected and retained using LTO technology.

Despite the increased uptake in the newest generation of LTO tape, the previous LTO Generation 5, introduced three years ago, remains popular as drive shipments maintained double-digit growth over the prior year.

LTO-6 products have been available since fourth quarter last year and support a tape cartridge storage capacity of up to 6.25TB, which is more than twice the compressed capacity over the previous generation. LTO-6 drives and tapes also feature data transfer rates of up to 400MB per second, translating to more than 1.4 terabytes of compressed data per hour.

As with previous generations, LTO-6 drives provide backward compatibility with the ability to read and write LTO Generation 5 cartridges and read LTO Generation 4 cartridges, helping to preserve media investments and ease of implementation.

The LTO Ultrium Generation 6 format includes a partitioning functionality, first introduced in LTO Generation 5 technology, enabling users to present a tape-based file system with the use of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS).

With continued support for hardware-based encryption and WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many) functionality, LTO Ultrium generation 6 tape technology is designed to provide an optimal balance of performance, capacity, compatibility and cost control, and to support a broad range of data storage options for backup and archive that are easy to use and address a vast majority of storage needs.