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LTO licenses for Generation 6 storage format now available

Recognizing that tape-based archiving continues to be a critical component of many broadcasters’ facilities, technology companies involved with the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Program — such as HP, IBM and Quantum — have announced the availability of licenses for the LTO Ultrium Generation 6 format.

There are lots of different implementations of linear tape, including Linear Tape Open (LTO), Digital Linear Tape (DLT), Magstar and 9840 Enterprise tapes. The most popular LTO format is Ultrium, a high capacity, single-reel implementation.

Although the LTO Ultrium Generation 6 format is still in development, the storage product vendors said licensees can learn more about this emerging tape specification via a series of regular discussions surrounding its development. The initiative is intended to speed up licensee product development programs.

Planned or specifications for the Generation 6 tape cartridge include capacity of up to 8TB — almost triple the capacity over the previous generation — and tape drive data transfer rates of up to 525MB/s. Some features from previous generations of the LTO Ultrium format have been retained, such as encryption to help protect data in transition, Write Once Read Many (WORM) support to help address data security and compliance needs, as well as a dual partitioning feature.

When used in conjunction with the Linear Tape File System specification, these capabilities can provide faster data access and improved data management.

Plans for LTO Ultrium 6 drive specifications include backwards-compatible read-and-write capability with LTO Ultrium 5 cartridges, and backwards-compatible read capabilities with LTO Ultrium 4 cartridges, helping to protect investments and ease implementation.

LTO storage products combine the advantages of linear multichannel, bidirectional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout and error correction.

Storage and media manufacturers and others interested in licensing LTO formats can find out more online.