LTO Tape Shipment Report Reveals Record Breaking Tape Capacity Shipments

Continued increase in capacity shipments point to reliance on LTO tape in modern-day storage environments

SILICON VALLEY, Calif.– The LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Corporation and Quantum today released their annual tape media shipment report, detailing year-over-year shipments. The report showed a record 114,079 petabytes (PB) of total tape capacity (compressed) shipped in 2019.

“As the datasphere continues to grow at astronomical rates and cybersecurity defense becomes a priority for organizations of all sizes, LTO tape technology remains a leading solution in addressing modern-day data storage needs,” said Sam Werner, VP, Storage Offering Management at IBM. “LTO technology’s inherent air-gap along with its low cost of ownership make tape technology one of the most secure and most cost-effective data storage options for enterprises that require reliable long-term archival storage to manage the surge in data generation.”

LTO-8 technology, already available, offers up to 30TB* of compressed capacity, with transfer speeds of up to 360 MB/sec native, 750 MB/sec compressed. When you compare native data rates LTO-8 tape is faster than the latest generations of hard disk drives with transfer rates of 210 MB/s. Additionally, LTO tape technology offers an inherent air-gap, which is essential to thwarting increasingly sophisticated ransomware and malware threats that may corrupt live, backup, and archive data simultaneously.

“Ransomware is more rampant than ever and a significant challenge for protecting data, especially as employees continue to work remotely amid the current pandemic,” said Christophe Bertrand, Senior Analyst, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. “Air gapping with tape technology should be a serious consideration for any company looking at best practices to ensure their company’s data and their customers’ privacy.”

LTO tape’s features make it a critical component of any modern-day data storage infrastructure. LTO tape offers secure and reliable long-term archival storage for data after it is no longer accessed frequently at a cost substantially lower than flash disk or cloud when considering factors such as power, cooling and retrieval.

This increase in capacity shipments comes after a decline in 2018, which was due to a pause in manufacturing. Once tape cartridge production resumed, capacity shipments rose to record amounts in 2019. Though media unit shipments have declined, this has been a consistent trend as customers continue to rely on high-density tape cartridges as part of their data retention and security strategies.

The LTO Program will continue to produce annual shipment reports for tape media, which are available for download from the LTO Program website, www.lto.org.

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 www.lto.org/trustlto and the LTO Program Web site at www.lto.org.

*Assumes 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 registered trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, International Business Machines Corporation and Quantum Corporation in the US and other countries.