back to article LTO issues mighty seventh-generation 15TB tape format

LTO, the world’s most popular tape format, has a 15TB generation-7 Ultrium specification available for drive and media manufacturers. Linear Tape Open (LTO) represents a trio of technology provider companies: HP, IBM and Quantum. It works with them and tape suppliers like Fujifilm to develop tape media and drive specifications …

  1. Mike 125

    Great pic.

    Didn't know they had Steam Punk back then. And I really gotta get me some of those pince nez.

    The old guys are on the up in politics, too. It's a good time to be alive.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Great pic.

      The one on the top of is more impressive.

      It's a 1930s marconi-stile "blattnerphone" - which used stainless steel ribbon as the tape (I shit you not) and gave 30mins operating time from those enormous reels. (When the tape broke, the sound has been described as the simultaneous unsheathing of 1000 swords - and it broke frequently.) Rewind time was 15mins originally but slowed to 30min because of breakages and

      The one on top of this article is its smaller "portable" cousin, invented by Fritz Pfleumer - paper tape with iron oxide laquered on top. It's the true ancestor of every kind of tape format we know today.

      On topic: LTO7 is nice, but 15TB it aint.

      Real world compression of most data I handle is between 1.1 and 1.15:1

      I'd love larger capacity - 2 Phoenix FS1903 safes full of LTO5s take a lot of floor space and at £5500 apiece don't come cheap (that's about the same price as a LTO7 drive will be in most robots). Disk space demands are romping far ahead of our capacity to back them up.... :-/

  2. Ragequit

    Ah.. tape..

    How I hate thee. Seriously can they just stop advancing tape tech already? I know it might be a bit of a inconvenience to some people's data recovery plans but what happened to all the promised optical/holographic storage tech? I much prefer the idea of storing data on non-magnetic media with much more reasonable lifespans. But then humans are always living in the present and rarely plan (effectively) for the future.

    We produce and consume all this data these days but I wonder if we really have the means to preserve it? Or perhaps the better question is do we want to? Who gets to decide what stays and what goes in the bit bucket? Cat Videos? Bin.

    1. Riku

      Re: Ah.. tape..

      The problem with storing data in a holographic medium in a space five atoms high, is that is a sparrow sneezes over in the next town and the laser mis-aligns. That's why it was so damn hard to commercialise. It works fine in the lab when sat on a one-tonne, vibration-isolated optical table bolted right into the building foundations, but a little hard to carry around in your pocket.

      Data recovery plans? You're talking yesterday's use-case, come on sonny, catch up. Disk is for day-to-day recovery, LTO is for cost-effective archive (and a proper archive is _not_ a collection of old backups) and cold-storage of content, content that may yet be data-mined or re-monetised (how I hate that word). Hell, we're only using disk until solid-state kills it. SSD and Tape, there lays the future.

      LTO does make for rather good backup though where off-site is a requirement but where bandwidth is low, at a premium price or non-existant.

  3. Joe User

    Alternative to tape

    Given a choice, I'd rather have RDX for backup. It uses disk-based cartridges, which make backing up and restoring much faster. The RDX cartridges are more expensive than LTO-5 tapes, but the drives are much cheaper.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Alternative to tape

      RDX works fine until you drop one. Been there, done that.

      SSD in RDX case sounds fine, but the data will "evaporate" after a few years. Hard drives put on a shelf will do this too (or the bearings will die, which gives the same effect)

      Tapes are warranted to last at least a decade. The hard part is finding a decade-old tape drive to put them in.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon