Using Liner Tape-Open (LTO) Data Storage

Updated 5/10/2011 by SuperMediaStore Staff

Linear Tape-Open is an open standard for magnetic tape developed in the late 1990s. LTO is used for computer/IT data backup and storage. An open standard means the information about the technology is openly available for users to apply, as opposed to proprietary technology held by a private corporation. However, producers of LTO equipment (tapes and drives) are licensed to do so.

The advantage of an open standard is that all LTO tapes will work in all LTO drives, as opposed to having to use a particular manufacturer’s (or manufacturer’s licensed) tapes in a tape drive. This more competitive environment helps reduce or limit the costs of using linear tape for computer data storage.

Like DLT (Digital Linear Tape), LTO employs multiple segmented linear channels on the tape that can be written to simultaneously, which allows large volumes of data to be backed-up more quickly. LTO capacity continues to grow. Recent versions can hold 1.5Tbytes of data.

LTO initially came in two versions: “Accelis” for applications that require fast read and retrievals. “Ultrium” was to maximize the amount of data storage. However, Ultrium is the only version currently in wide spread use.