Tape Guts Exposed

SkeletonJust what helps LTO tape technology do its magic to quickly and reliably protect and preserve your data? There are a number of key technologies that contribute to its storage capabilities, performance and longevity. In this BlogBytes we will expose the guts of LTO technology and see what keeps its heart beating to the protect and preserve drum.

Revealing the Facts

A Strong Heart

A Strong Heart

The hummingbird has an enlarged heart which supplies the wings with the oxygen it needs for high speed wing flapping of up to 200 times per second. The heartbeat gem that keeps LTO tape humming is the advanced servo system. As shown in Figure 1, there are 4 data regions, or bands, on the LTO tape media to store data. In the case of LTO-6 tape that’s up to 6.25TB of high-speed storage compressed! Each of the data bands is bordered by two servo bands. One servo band above and below each data band. The servo bands are read by servo read elements in the tape drive head assembly to provide precise alignment of the head assembly for highly reliable read and write accuracy. Only one servo band is needed to provide alignment but the system uses two at all times for built-in redundancy. I like that and so should you. The servo system is one of the key features that makes LTO tape so trustworthy with a strong roadmap to the future. If you are feeling really techy see LTO Tape Technology ‘How it Works.’

Figure 1 - Servo the Heartbeat Gem

Figure 1 – Servo the Heartbeat Gem

3 More Valuable Feats

LTO tape can be used like a disk drive. That’s correct, with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and LTO 5 or 6 technology the tape can be used like a disk or USB thumb drive. We wrote about this in detail in previous LTFS BlogBytes. LTFS with LTO tape is making tape easier to use than ever before. See an LTFS overview video.

LTO technology features strong encryption capabilities to secure your data at rest or in transport. It uses a 256-symmetric key AES-GCM algorithm that is implemented at the drive level allowing the data to be compressed and then encrypted for maximum capacity secure storage. Read about LTO Tape Encryption and a user story.

Hovering Over Your Data

Hovering Over Your Data

LTO WORM implementation is designed to provide users a very cost effective means of storing data in a non-rewriteable formatto address compliance regulations. It features robust algorithms using the Write Once Read Many (WORM) Cartridge Memory, in conjunction with low level encoding that is masteredon the tape media at the time of manufacture and it is designed to prevent tampering. If you need to have data stored and not worry about it being modified, use LTO WORM tape. Read more – LTO WORM.

LTO tape is a special bird with a strong heart to protectively hover over your data…Fly LTO Tape!