Linear Tape Open

Linear Tape Open

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Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium is a high-capacity, high-performance tape storage technology designed for data backup, archiving, and long-term data storage. LTO Ultrium tapes provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for organizations dealing with vast amounts of data that require secure, scalable, and efficient storage.

Key Features and Advantages:

  1. High Capacity: LTO Ultrium tapes offer impressive storage capacities, ranging from hundreds of gigabytes to several terabytes, depending on the generation of the tape. This high capacity makes LTO Ultrium tapes suitable for large-scale data backup and archiving needs.
  2. Fast Data Transfer Rates: LTO Ultrium technology is known for its fast data transfer rates. As new generations of LTO tapes are introduced, the data transfer rates increase significantly, allowing for quick and efficient data backups and restores.
  3. Data Compression: LTO Ultrium tapes support data compression, which allows organizations to store even more data on a single tape. The compression ratios achieved depend on the type of data being stored, but in many cases, it can effectively double the storage capacity.
  4. Long-Term Archiving: LTO Ultrium tapes are designed for long-term data archiving and preservation. The tapes have a durable design and are built to withstand environmental factors, making them a reliable choice for data retention over extended periods.
  5. Scalability and Compatibility: LTO Ultrium technology is backward compatible, meaning that newer generations of LTO drives can read and write to tapes from previous generations. This ensures data accessibility and easy migration to newer tape technologies as they become available.
  6. Data Encryption: Many LTO Ultrium drives and libraries support hardware-based data encryption, providing an additional layer of security for sensitive data stored on the tapes.

LTO Generations:

The LTO technology has evolved over the years, with multiple generations introduced to meet the growing demands of data storage. Each generation brings increased storage capacity and faster data transfer rates. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the LTO generations and their key specifications are as follows:

  • LTO-1: Capacity up to 100GB (native) and 200GB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 20MB/s (native).
  • LTO-2: Capacity up to 200GB (native) and 400GB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 40MB/s (native).
  • LTO-3: Capacity up to 400GB (native) and 800GB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 80MB/s (native).
  • LTO-4: Capacity up to 800GB (native) and 1.6TB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 120MB/s (native).
  • LTO-5: Capacity up to 1.5TB (native) and 3TB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 140MB/s (native).
  • LTO-6: Capacity up to 2.5TB (native) and 6.25TB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 160MB/s (native).
  • LTO-7: Capacity up to 6TB (native) and 15TB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 300MB/s (native).
  • LTO-8: Capacity up to 12TB (native) and 30TB (compressed), data transfer rate of up to 360MB/s (native).


LTO Ultrium is a robust and efficient tape storage technology that has become an industry standard for data backup and archiving. With its high capacity, fast data transfer rates, data compression, and compatibility across generations, LTO Ultrium provides a reliable and scalable solution for organizations seeking secure and cost-effective data storage options. As data continues to grow exponentially, LTO Ultrium remains a crucial component in the data storage landscape, enabling businesses to safeguard their valuable information and meet their long-term data retention needs.

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