LTO Being Used for over 365,000 PETABYTES worldwide


Latest trends show tape as key component of evolving storage landscape

SILICON VALLEY, CALIF. — (March 22, 2016) — The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum today released the total industry LTO Ultrium format tape media shipment data, announcing a record 76,000 PB (compressed) of total capacity shipped in 2015 alone, an increase of 17.8 percent over the prior year. The milestone, announced in tandem with the launch of a new report showing both 2015 and year-over-year generational data, provides a clear picture of the long-term viability and importance of tape in today’s rapidly shifting storage environment.

The report also showed more than 385,000 PB of total data capacity has been shipped since the introduction of LTO Ultrium cartridges in 2000. A petabyte (PB) equals roughly four times the amount of data contained in the Library of Congress. For an understanding of the amount of data shipped to date, multiply the amount of data in the Library of Congress by 385,000, and imagine all of that data stored on tape.

The report shows significant increases in year-over-year total capacity shipped aided by the introduction of LTO-7 products, which were made available to the market during the last quarter of 2015. Shipments in 2015 reflect a small decrease in media unit shipments over the prior year, which is typical as the market anticipates the introduction of a new generation. The year-over-year unit shipments are offset by the total capacity shipped in the same period, indicating that tape usage is migrating to higher capacity LTO-6 and LTO-7 technologies.

“Tape continues to serve IT professionals in many industries with low cost, secure and reliable data storage – especially for longer term applications,” said Jason Buffington, Principle Analyst, Data Protection at ESG. “With LTO-7 technology recently coming onto the market, we’re expecting a continued use case for the technology in many industries, as well as adoption in new industries seeking ways to safely store rapidly increasing data.”

Moving forward, the LTO Program intends to produce tape media reports by generation, sharing relevant data with the marketplace as an indicator of usage by storage professionals across media and entertainment, security, government and other verticals. The reports are available on the LTO Program website at, or by clicking here.

About Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

The LTO Ultrium format is a powerful, scalable, adaptable open tape format developed and continuously enhanced by technology providers Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation (and their predecessors) to help address the growing demands of data protection in the midrange to enterprise-class server environments. This ultra-high capacity generation of tape storage products is designed to deliver outstanding performance, capacity and reliability combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, bi-directional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout, and error correction.

The LTO Ultrium format has a well-defined roadmap for growth and scalability. The roadmap represents intentions and goals only and is subject to change or withdrawal. There is no guarantee that these goals will be achieved. The roadmap is intended to outline a general direction of technology and should not be relied upon in making a purchasing decision. Format compliance verification is vital to meet the free-interchange objectives that are at the core of the LTO Program. Ultrium tape mechanism and tape cartridge interchange specifications are available on a licensed basis. For additional information on the LTO Program, visit and the LTO Program Web site at

*Assuming a 2.5:1 compression achieved with larger compression history buffer available beginning with LTO generation 6 drives.

Note:  Linear Tape-Open, LTO, the LTO logo, Ultrium, and the Ultrium logo are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum in the US and other countries.

LTFS Now An International Standard

ISO/IEC reinforces confidence in file management system for Linear Tape-Open technology

SILICON VALLEY, CA. and COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (June 8, 2016) The Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced today that the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Format Specification is now an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard (ISO/IEC 20919:2016).

As the world’s data continues to grow at an increasing pace, and the need for affordable, large-scale storage becomes more important, LTFS is a technology that will make the use of tape for long-term, affordable storage easier and more attractive. Introduced in 2010, LTFS v2.2 allows for file system implementations using tape. It is a standard for data interchange, which enables user-friendly access to tape data using familiar tools and interfaces. It provides cross-platform and cross-vendor interoperability for tape, and makes viewing and accessing tape files easier than ever.

“Now, everyone using tape technology with LTFS can have the additional confidence of formal recognition from ISO and IEC,” noted Terry Cochran of the LTO Consortium, “The importance of this standard lies in the fact that it provides additional credibility to the technology. Consumers can now purchase and use LTFS knowing that it’s one of the most reliable storage technologies available.”

David Dale, Chair of the SNIA, added, “We’re very pleased that LTFS has been recognized by ISO and IEC as an international standard.  By working closely with the LTO Consortium, we’ve been able to bring the industry together to establish an important standard that will help improve the access, flexibility and efficiency of working with tape files, which are critical to thousands of organizations around the world.”

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that brings together experts to develop market relevant International Standards. ISO has over 21,000 standards touching almost all industries and aspects of consumers’ daily lives. These standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality.

With ISO/IEC’s standard verification, LTFS will continue to strengthen and grow the role of tape into new industries and applications where customers want the best features of tape technology as well as the direct access benefits provided by disk. LTFS is important in a wide variety of industries including media & entertainment, for large file movement when bandwidth is constrained. With these advanced workflow benefits, companies can enjoy a simplified system, save time, and lower their overall costs.

About the Linear Tape-Open Consortium
In 1998, technology companies collaborated to develop Linear Tape-Open technology, providing a clear and viable choice in the complex array of tape storage options. Today, a consortium of representatives sets standards and specifications for the popular storage technology, ensuring a well-defined strategy for the future as storage needs continue to evolve. For additional information on LTO technology, visit the LTO Consortium website at

The LTFS technical working group collaborates with other industry associations, such as the LTO Consortium, to help educate and promote the value of LTFS.  SNIA focuses its technical efforts on the development of an architecture that is related to the non-platform specific, on-media format for LTFS. It also produces a comprehensive set of specifications ensuring a consistency of interface standards across LTFS related efforts. LTFS provides an industry standard format for recording data on modern magnetic tape. For more information, visit

About the SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association is a not–for–profit global organization, made up of member companies spanning the global storage market. SNIA’s mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For more information, visit


For More Information:

  • Melissa Forbes, FleishmanHillard, on behalf of the LTO Consortium: or 310.482.4294
  • Dan La Russo, Ogilvy, on behalf of the SNIA: or 720.840.8254
Continuing the Search for the Right Mix of Long-Term Storage Infrastructure — A TCO Analysis of Disk and Tape Solutions

Continuing the Search for the Right Mix of Long-Term Storage Infrastructure — A TCO Analysis of Disk and Tape Solutions

Overview and Findings 

We are surrounded by data and very close to being overwhelmed by it. The desire to retain data for years, if not decades or longer, so that it might be leveraged in the future (perhaps even tomorrow), is not new. It is the scope and volume of data that is new and the scale to which archived data is being used that brings us to ask again what has become the proverbial question in data centers around the world: Where should I put it? Today, there are more choices than before, but the decision process to answering that question only has two dimensions, all other things generally being equal: time and money.

Time primarily is about both duration (how long you want to keep it) and retrieval speed (how fast do you need to access it). Money is about paying the least amount (on a continuing basis) per unit of stor-age (think about terabytes1, because that is some-thing sufficiently tangible to which you probably can relate), as long as the business requirements are being met. The latter is mostly about retrieval speed – the quicker you want it, the more it is going to cost.

Answering the where-to-put-it question is valid only for a given point in time. Beyond a short period (think three-to-six years), we are challenged to pre-dict what storage technologies will be available and economically viable. Fortunately, the need is front and center now and not deferrable until later – because there is much that has to be preserved today. So we need to look at what is available today, and extrapolate that a little into the future while making some important assumptions.

For those readers who just want a quick answer, we found that for archiving, disk-based storage solutions are, on average, more than six times more costly per terabyte stored than ones based on tape libraries, as shown in Exhibit 1 on this page. Explanations and insight require more details and discussions, which follow. Please read on.