WORM functionality for LTO tape drives and media

This topic describes the write-once-read-many (WORM) functionality that is used by the LTO Ultrium 3 and newer tape drives and supported cartridges.

The LTO 3 and later tape drives include the WORM feature, which is supported by the IBM® LTO WORM Data Cartridge (formerly the IBM 3589 Ultrium Tape Cartridge Models 028 and 029). All IBM LTO 3 tape drives with firmware levels of 54K1 or higher and all later LTO drives support the WORM function. An LTO 3 or later tape drive with WORM capability can recognize WORM-compatible media. More information and the required drive firmware can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/servers/storage/support/lto/3584/downloading.html

The IBM LTO WORM Data Cartridge is only for use on Ultrium 3 and later tape drives with WORM-capable microcode. The cartridge is designed for applications such as archiving and data retention, and is also suitable for applications that require an audit trail. The cartridge works with the Ultrium 3 and later tape drives to prevent the alteration or deletion of user data.

Additionally, IBM has taken the following steps to reduce tampering with data:
  • The bottom of the WORM cartridge is molded in a color (gray) that is different from rewritable cartridges.
  • A unique format is factory-written on each WORM cartridge.
  • The WORM cartridge's memory, along with its unique format, protects the WORM character of the media.

Based on LTO technology, the format for the LTO WORM data cartridge provides the same capacities as the equivalent LTO data cartridges.