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LTO-6: The Next Generation of Tape

by on June 23, 2011

This week, the LTO Consortium announced the availability of licenses for its still-under-development LTO Ultrium Generation 6 tape format. By making licenses available in advance of the actual LTO-6 launch, the LTO companies are giving licensees a sneak peek at this emerging tape specification. The goal: to enhance licensees’ development of storage solutions that incorporate LTO-6 technology.

LTO-future Just like the LTO program overall, this first step for LTO-6 tells us one very important thing about tape as a storage medium: It’s alive and well. Clearly, tape is continuing to evolve and adapt to meet business needs. Industry leaders HP, IBM and Quantum are continuing to invest in making tape better and faster: LTO-6 specification plans call for triple the capacity of LTO-5 (up to 8 TB) and an increase in tape drive transfer rates of up to 525 MB per second.

Add those improvements to these advantages already offered by LTO-5, which will also be included in LTO-6, and you can see why the continued evolution of LTO technology is a sign of ongoing life for tape as a storage medium:

  • Partitioning that enables LTO and LTFS to work together to allow easy file system access and operation independent of the backup software
  • Encryption to help protect data in transition
  • WORM support to help meet data security and compliance needs

As development of LTO-6 continues, we’ll look forward to learning more about the next generation of modern tape.

Do you see a potential role for LTO-6 in your organization? If so, what aspects of this new technology would mean the most for your business?

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