The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs) HP, IBM and Quantum Corp., recently announced the extension of the LTO tape product roadmap to include generations 9 and 10. SearchStorage says that Linear Tape-Open (LTO) is an open-format tape storage technology developed by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), International Business Machines (IBM), and Certance. (Quantum (QTM) acquired Centance in 2004). The term “open-format” means that users have access to multiple sources of storage media products that will be compatible.
SearchStorage reports that the LTO tape vendors plan to grow the technology to super-size. LTO-9 will offer up to 25 TB of native capacity and LTO-10 will offer 48 TB. Transfer rates are expected to increase over earlier generations. LTO-9 and LTO-10 will offer transfer rates of 708 MBps and 1,100 MBps, respectively.
The new generations will include read-and-write backwards compatibility with tapes from the previous generation and read compatibility from the previous two generations. The new generations will also continue to support LTFS, WORM functionality and encryption.
|LTO Generation||Product shipped||Storage capacity (TB)*||Transfer Rate (MBps)*||Compatible with||Notes|
|LTO-3||2005||.4||80||LTO-2 & 1|
|LTO-4||2007||.8||120||LTO-3 & 2|
|LTO-5||2010||1.5||140||LTO-4 & 3|
|LTO-6||2012||2.5||160||LTO-5 & 4||Current Standard|
|LTO-7||2015?||6.4||315||LTO-6 & 5||Development|
|LTO-8||2017?||12.8||472||LTO-7 & 6||Development|
|LTO-9||TBD||26||708||LTO-8 & 7||Development|
|LTO-10||TBD||48||1100||LTO-9 & 8||Development|
In case you are not a LTO user, FierceCIO reports that Sony (SNE) has developed super-sized storage tape. The Sony magnetic tape cassette capable of storing 185TB of data by optimizing its nano-technology process.
Sony optimized its “sputter deposition” technology to create a soft magnetic layer, allowing it to shrink magnetic particles on the storage layer to an average size of 7.7nm, and increasing density according to the article. This allows the Japanese firm’s forthcoming cassettes will be able to store 74 times more data than conventional tape media or the equivalent of 3,700 Blu-ray discs.
The creation of a 185TB cassette will no doubt be welcomed by large enterprises as they try not to be overwhelmed by the explosion in big data. Various studies estimate that in the next decade the amount of data stored will increase by 50 times. IDC predicts in 2020, over 40 trillion gigabytes of data will be stored around the globe.
Not so fast, these developments are not the holy grail of backup’s.
I know of several organizations that have dragged their fiscal feet and are still running LTO-1 or LTO-2. They have limited their own upgrade path. Right there in the LTO.org spec’s it says that LTO only allows for support of the previous two generations of cartridges on LTO Tape Drives.
FierceCIO speculates that after cost, Sony’s biggest challenge with a 185TB tape will be making it sufficiently fast in terms of its read and write performance, and the possible need for non-conventional peripheral interconnects so that data backups can be completed within increasingly decreasing backup windows.
- No TKO for LTO: Tape format spawns another 2 generations, sports 120TB bigness (go.theregister.com)
Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.