LTO Program releases LTO-8

With double the storage, the eighth generation of the LTO Ultrium format stores up to 30TB data and features air gap protection against cyberattacks

At the recently concluded 2018 NAB Show, the LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs) — Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum — announced the specifications of the newest LTO Ultrium format, generation 8, which is now available for licensing by media manufacturers.

Designed to double the tape cartridge capacity from the previous LTO-7, LTO-8 allows users to store up to 30TB per cartridge when compressed. LTO-8 includes features introduced in previous generations, such as multi-layer security support, including hardware-based encryption and Write-Once, Read-Many (WORM) functionality. Moreover, the partitioning functionality is included to allow tape-based file system to be deployed alongside linear tape file system (LTFS).

Laura Loredo, product manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, told APB: “Apart from doubling the capacity, LTO-8 features air-gap protection to help data remain virus- and ransomware-free.

“Tape is the only media that provides true air gap, protecting the data even when tape is offline. Users can always retrieve their data on tape, and restore to the latest moment before the attack.”

In an effort to push the innovation boundaries of tape technology going forward, the current LTO format requires a recording technology transition that supports capacity growth for future LTO generations. To address this technological shift while maintaining affordability, Loredo explained that LTO-8 specifications are intended to be only backwards-compatible with LTO-7 cartridges.

She continued: “Asia has a big market for LTO tape technology. For instance, India has a big entertainment industry with Bollywood, and Japan has embraced LTO technology and LTFS.

“We are currently concentrating on doubling the capacity for every generation. It is our main focus in keeping costs down. Moving forward, doubling the capacity for LTO-9, which is currently under development, is once again our main target, but we are working on all the formats and specifications.”


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