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More than 3.3 Million LTO Ultrium Tape Drives Shipped

Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM Corporation and Quantum announced that the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Ultrium format continues to maintain high user acceptance rates.

According to the statement, a recent study by IDC found that the LTO Ultrium tape format has surpassed a new milestone with drive shipments now exceeding 3.3 million units since the format’s introduction. This achievement demonstrates the strength of the format and how it continues to be driven by being an openly licensed format, along with the data protection portability, reliability and potential TCO advantages that tape storage offers organizations.

”The LTO Ultrium format has enjoyed tremendous success since its inception and continues to grow with each subsequent generation delivered to the marketplace, demonstrating the need for a truly open tape format,” said Robert Amatruda, research director, Tape and Removable Storage, IDC. “This LTO tape drive shipment milestone is recognition that tape remains a cost-effective and integral part of many customers’ data protection strategies.”

Tape continues to be a key component of backup and archive storage infrastructures. It is widely used to address multiple layers of protection, including the retention of offline copies to avoid the impact of intentional or unintentional corruption that can occur with on-line copies. Additionally, the latest LTO drive products provide encryption capabilities to protect data at rest and while tape cartridges are in transit.

“LTO products have been a core part of storage solutions for nearly a decade, embraced by businesses to address their backup, archive, compliance and data security needs,” said Bob Wilson, Vice President, Storage Platforms Division, HP. “This milestone achievement reflects widespread recognition of the value that the Ultrium format delivers, including low total cost of ownership, high data transfer rates, and a roadmap that provides a development path for scalability and growth.”

The LTO Program recently released specifications and new feature details for its upcoming generation 5, calling for a storage capacity increase to 3TB (assumes 2:1 compression) — a near doubling of capacity over the previous generation — and transfer rates of up to 280MB per second (assumes 2:1 compression). The LTO Ultrium format generation 5 plans include new partitioning functionality enabling capabilities that can help enhance file control and space management, addressing the growing needs of marketplace segments such as Rich Media. More information on this highly- anticipated technology will be forthcoming later this year.

The LTO Ultrium format generation 5 drives are designed with backwards-compatible read-and-write capability with the Ultrium format generation 4 cartridges, and backward read capabilities with generation 3 cartridges, helping to protect investments and ease implementation.

The technology provider companies will provide roadmap updates to LTO Ultrium generation 6 and generations beyond to give users improved tape performance attributes as well as cost-effective technology to help address total cost of ownership objectives for their data protection strategies.

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