IBM’s new Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape drives

By | 2 minute read | October 10, 2017

Combining smart economics with performance and data security

The methods with which company leaders treat the data under their purview is fast becoming synonymous with their guiding principles. This critical business data usually includes information about partners and customers, as well personal details about employees. How information is processed, analyzed and kept has become so pervasive that it is now a subject being discussed around both company boardrooms and kitchen tables. Atop the list of concerns are strategies for meeting cybersecurity challenges, which strengthens the often-made point that data is truly an organization’s most valuable resource.

To improve security measures and safeguard critical information, enterprises spanning a variety of industries have long relied upon technology whose origins go back more than 65 years. The reasons why tape storage remains part of today’s overall data management plan are:

  • Cost
  • The ability to keep pace with performance
  • Tape’s powerful security capabilities

Being a physical media that can be kept under lock and key provides one layer of security. However, beyond locking away cartridges when not in use, encryption and Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) functionalities are providing users with deeper levels of data protection. Not satisfied with relying solely on security, tape engineers have also kept pace with performance. According to the Tape Storage Council’s most recent State of the Tape Industry Report, tape data rates are expected to be as much as five times faster than hard disk drives by 2025. This is great news for users whose archives include data from the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics, as well as content from mobile and social systems, video streaming hybrid cloud workloads and traditional data center applications.

Introducing LTO-8

Today, IBM is announcing its Linear Tape Open Ultrium 8 Tape drive (LTO-8), which doubles the capacity from its previous generation, shortens data access times by 20 percent and drives down costs below the half-cent per GB barrier.

Christian Otte, Server Center Manager at VEKA AG, a world leading manufacturer of windows and doors, says: “IBM’s continued investment to increase performance that can help improve our ability to meet our security and regulatory requirements in tape technologies is important to our business. IBM’s ongoing commitment to tape is providing more value than ever.”

Available in Q4 2017, IBM LTO-8 joins a full range of tape storage solutions providing clients with an economical choice in data preservation with increased functionalities. It maintains continued support for AME and AES-256 standard encryption, data partitioning and security key management while maintaining compatibility with LTO-7.

IBM Tape Storage – 65 years and counting

65 years ago our first marketed tape drive, the IBM 726, replaced a long-held and very profitable punch card business. While a lifetime has passed since that time, it has not changed IBM’s commitment to tape media as is evidenced by the recent tape milestone achieved by IBM and Sony. We demonstrated an ability to store up to 330 terabytes of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge the size of your hand.

Jon Toigo, Chairman of the Data Management Institute and Managing Principal Partner, Toigo Partners International LLC says: “The tape industry is consolidating around one drive maker and only a couple of media makers. That would signal alarm were it not for the capabilities and value that tape technology vendors, including IBM, are bringing to the storage medium.  With the latest IBM announcements, the future for LTO tape technology has never looked brighter.”

To learn more about IBM LTO-8 solutions please watch our video: New LTO-8 solutions from IBM.

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