LTO-8, the next generational step in the LTO development roadmap
Posted on 22-Apr-2018
The long anticipated release of LTO8 has finally arrived. With a native capacity of 12TB (twice that of LTO7) and transfer speeds of 360MB/s the eighth generation in the LTO development roadmap provides a significant increase in capacity and performance over LTO-7 which was released to the market in 2015.
LTO-8 continues the LTO tradition of providing undeniable superiority in long term data retention (in excess of 30 years) with its lower cost per GB, lower operating cost and lower energy cost than other data storage options. With LTFS also include ease of use and vendor neutrality.
LTO-8 specific benefits include;
•Native capacity of 12TB and up to 30TB with compression when using LTO8 tape media.
•Native capacity of 9TB and up to 22.5TB with compression when using the less expensive M8 initialised LTO7 tape media. (See explanation below, Ed)
•Native transfer rates of 360MB/s or up to 900MB/s with compression (3.24TB/hour).
•Backward read and write compatibility with LTO-7 media
Note: as a consequence of a recording technology transition to support future capacity growth there is no backward compatibility beyond LTO7.
LTO-8 continues to support hardware based encryption, WORM (write once read many) and LTFS (the partitioning functionality that offers the user a file system view of the data on the tape).
A new innovation for LTO8 is the opportunity to write 9 TB of data on a brand new LTO-7 cartridge, versus the 6TB as specified by the LTO-7 format. This new cartridge is called LTO-7 cartridge initialized as Type M media (LTO-7 Type M or M8 media). This is a lower cost/capacity option to LTO8 specific media.
Only new, unused LTO Ultrium 7 cartridges can be initialized as M8 cartridges. Once a cartridge is initialized as M8, it cannot be changed back to L7. Initialized M8 cartridges can only be written and read in an LTO 8 tape drive; LTO 7 tape drives cannot read initialized M8 cartridges.
M8 cartridges can be purchased as either pre-initialized (also referred to as “labeled and initialized”) M8 data cartridges or un-initialized M8 data cartridges (M8 WORM cartridges are not supported). For either option, the barcode label is included; however, the un-initialized M8 data cartridge must first be initialized in tape libraries that support the automatic initialization of un-initialized M8 cartridges while under the control of ISV applications that recognize the M8 barcode label.
A tape cartridge is initialized when it is first loaded into a compatible tape drive and data is written by the ISV application at the beginning of tape (sometimes referred to as "labelling a tape" or "writing from BOT"). The tape drive establishes the density of the media at that time.
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