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LTO 7 Gains Steam With Sony, Fujifilm Verification

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

The Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium specification is one of the oldest and widely used magnetic tape formats in the enterprise space, providing high-density storage at a low total cost of ownership for cloud and data center applications.

The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies, which include HP Enterprise, IBM, and Quantum, announced that both Sony and Fujifilm have successfully passed LTO 7 interchange testing and are now eligible to license the LTO Ultrium generation 7 format on their magnetic tape storage products.

The LTO Program tests potential licensees with a rigorous series of certifications based on an annual test-sample submission using several different data interchangeability requirements. The testing confirms compliance with LTO standards, and it's a must-have to be in the LTO format business. With today's announcement, Sony and Fujifilm officially made the grade.

The latest iteration of the tape-storage technology, LTO 7, was announced back in September and supports compressed capacities up to 15 TB --  double the maximum amount from the previous generation. Read and write speeds are also improved, with data transfer rates of up to 750 MB per second (impressive for tape). This is made possible by increasing the amount of read/write heads from the previous formats, and the new specification is able to read and write on LTO 6 cartridges, as well as read LTO 5 tapes.

The appeal of tape storage as an enterprise cloud and data center solution is large capacities at a low total cost of ownership. The initial investment is also much cheaper than competing storage solutions, with mainstream pricing hovering around one cent per GB.  

"The LTO-7 technology is the biggest announcement in capacity and performance that the LTO program has made in four generations," said Calline Sanchez, Vice President of Enterprise System Storage at IBM, in a press release. "LTO technology continues to provide enterprises with a way to contain the massive growth of critical data at the lowest possible cost."

As unlikely as it may sound after all this time, tape storage (and apparently Fujifilm) is not dead, and Sony and Fujifilm's certification signifies increasing market options for LTO Ultrium generation 7 format products.