Latest trends show tape as key component of evolving storage landscape

SILICON VALLEY, CALIF. — (March 22, 2016) — The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum today released the total industry LTO Ultrium format tape media shipment data, announcing a record 76,000 PB (compressed) of total capacity shipped in 2015 alone, an increase of 17.8 percent over the prior year. The milestone, announced in tandem with the launch of a new report showing both 2015 and year-over-year generational data, provides a clear picture of the long-term viability and importance of tape in today’s rapidly shifting storage environment.

The report also showed more than 385,000 PB of total data capacity has been shipped since the introduction of LTO Ultrium cartridges in 2000. A petabyte (PB) equals roughly four times the amount of data contained in the Library of Congress. For an understanding of the amount of data shipped to date, multiply the amount of data in the Library of Congress by 385,000, and imagine all of that data stored on tape.

The report shows significant increases in year-over-year total capacity shipped aided by the introduction of LTO-7 products, which were made available to the market during the last quarter of 2015. Shipments in 2015 reflect a small decrease in media unit shipments over the prior year, which is typical as the market anticipates the introduction of a new generation. The year-over-year unit shipments are offset by the total capacity shipped in the same period, indicating that tape usage is migrating to higher capacity LTO-6 and LTO-7 technologies.

“Tape continues to serve IT professionals in many industries with low cost, secure and reliable data storage – especially for longer term applications,” said Jason Buffington, Principle Analyst, Data Protection at ESG. “With LTO-7 technology recently coming onto the market, we’re expecting a continued use case for the technology in many industries, as well as adoption in new industries seeking ways to safely store rapidly increasing data.”

Moving forward, the LTO Program intends to produce tape media reports by generation, sharing relevant data with the marketplace as an indicator of usage by storage professionals across media and entertainment, security, government and other verticals. The reports are available on the LTO Program website at, or by clicking here.

About Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

The LTO Ultrium format is a powerful, scalable, adaptable open tape format developed and continuously enhanced by technology providers Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation (and their predecessors) to help address the growing demands of data protection in the midrange to enterprise-class server environments. This ultra-high capacity generation of tape storage products is designed to deliver outstanding performance, capacity and reliability combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, bi-directional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout, and error correction.

The LTO Ultrium format has a well-defined roadmap for growth and scalability. The roadmap represents intentions and goals only and is subject to change or withdrawal. There is no guarantee that these goals will be achieved. The roadmap is intended to outline a general direction of technology and should not be relied upon in making a purchasing decision. Format compliance verification is vital to meet the free-interchange objectives that are at the core of the LTO Program. Ultrium tape mechanism and tape cartridge interchange specifications are available on a licensed basis. For additional information on the LTO Program, visit and the LTO Program Web site at


*Assuming a 2.5:1 compression achieved with larger compression history buffer available beginning with LTO generation 6 drives.

Note:  Linear Tape-Open, LTO, the LTO logo, Ultrium, and the Ultrium logo are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Quantum in the US and other countries.