When Does Four Equal One?

4-1Doing more with less is a staple of business strategy. When it comes to data storage, LTO technology can help achieve this efficiency objective. The LTO technology provider companies (HPE, IBM, and Quantum) continue to enhance each generation of LTO tape technology by increasing cartridge capacity, drive performance and reliability. The four equals one equation is an outstanding feat:  the data stored in four LTO-5 cartridges can be held in one LTO-7 cartridge. That’s doing a lot more with less! In this BlogBytes, we will examine the magic behind this phenomenon and what it can mean for your organization.

What Makes LTO Generation-7 Tick?

Let’s examine the technological magic behind LTO -7 technology.  The LTO-7 developers were tasked with increasing the capacity of the cartridge and performance of the tape drive. They also needed to maintain the same form factor (size and shape of the cartridge and drive) without sacrificing reliability. They far exceeded these goals!

microscopeLTO-7 under the Microscope

  • Huge Capacity: LTO-7 compressed cartridge capacity is up to 15 terabytes
  • Super-Fast: LTO-7 tape drive compressed data transfer rate is up to 750 megabytes per second
  • Efficient: LTO-7 capacity is up to 2.4 times the native capacity of an LTO-6 cartridge and 4 times the capacity of an LTO-5 cartridge
  • Productive: LTO-7 drive data transfer rate is up to 2 times faster than LTO-5 and LTO-6 data rates

How does the LTO Program keep improving these attributes? LTO-7 technology employs a 32 track head instead of 16 tracks, has an advanced servo format and improved error correction code (ECC). The enhanced ECC allows for more tracks and an increased linear density (more bits per inch). These enhancements improve the bit error rate to a remarkable 10E19 for outstanding data integrity.  This reliability rating has been shown to be better than enterprise disk!

What can an upgrade to LTO-7 technology do for you?

money-moneyIf you are using a previous generation of LTO tape, you may find that it’s time to upgrade to LTO-7 technology. Let’s assume you are using LTO Gen-5 technology. What can upgrading to LTO-7 technology do for your organization?

  • Reduce Tape Space: Reclaim up to 4x your shelf space and cartridge bin space.
  • Shrink Library Slot Usage: Reduce the amount of slots being used by LTO-5 cartridges and drives, helping to conserve library expansion funds and floor space consumption.
  • Increase Job Productivity: With up to twice the speed of LTO-5 drives, LTO-7 drives can improve job completion times and reduce cartridge swap activity.
  • Reduce Cartridge Handling: With fewer cartridges, there’s less cartridge handling by personnel and robotics. Additionally, there are potentially less offsite storage fees which helps to improve efficiency.

Simplified Upgrades

lto-7-liveThe process of upgrading from one LTO generation to another is easy because LTO technology supports backwards generation compatibility. For example, an LTO-7 tape drive can read back two generations and write back one generation. This means that LTO-7 drives can read and write an LTO-7 and an LTO-6 cartridge, and can read an LTO-5 cartridge. This feature helps preserve investments and ease implementations.

You have a lot to gain by upgrading to LTO-7 technology.  If you make LTO-7 a part of your year-end storage efficiency objectives you can make four equal one!

See LTO-7 technology and LTFS in the LTO Program booth at the Government Video Expo, December 7-8, 2016 in Washington, D.C.