“LTO-9 tape, how do I love thee, let me count the ways” is a slight variation of the line from the famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning love sonnet. In today’s world of data protection strategies storage managers can find lots to love about LTO-9 tape technology. In this BlogBytes article we will review key LTO-9 features — count them up there are at least nine, maybe more!


The first feature is about legacy — LTO-9 tape is the next chapter in a long line of successful generations of LTO tape technology as outlined in the LTO format technology roadmap. There have been over 5 million LTO tape drives shipped and over 350 million LTO tape cartridges shipped providing over 370 exabytes of compressed storage capacity worldwide. In addition, over 25% of LTO drives shipped historically are still in operation and LTO is the most successful tape technology in history.

What are the key performance attributes of LTO generation-9? It has the highest capacity of any LTO tape to date with up to 45 TBs of compressed cartridge capacity which represents a 50% increase in capacity over LTO-8 tape, and a 1400% increase over LTO-5 technology that debuted about a decade ago. That’s serious storage aptitude and that’s not all; LTO-9 drives boast the fastest LTO tape data transfer rate to date with up to 1,000 MBs per second or 3.6 TB per hour per drive of backup performance productivity. Whew, that’s fast and furious!


Going green has been a mantra for many storage execs. LTO-9 tape can help paint the data center green with up to an 87% reduction in carbon emissions and remember this — a cartridge in a tape library slot or sitting on a shelf draws zero power…. that’s how to reduce energy costs and go green. Speaking of data on a cartridge, LTO technology can be a great way to easily and economically transfer huge stores of information; simply take an LTO-9 tape and ship the up to 45 TBs anywhere to facilitate info sharing or to remotely secure the data out of the region. Get this: 1 PB of compressed data can be shipped on just 23 LTO-9 tapes! There’s more, LTO tape has been shown to have the lowest total cost of ownership of up to 86% lower than disk or cloud offerings.


LTO tape has been extremely reliable, take note:
LTO-9 tape devices feature Reed Solomon Error Correction and protection algorithms to immediately verify data — this translates to a bit error rate for LTO-9 technology that is about
five orders of magnitude better than hard disk drives.  If you want to protect your data not only against bit errors but also from sabotage and cyberattacks, use LTO tape. Here’s how tape data protection works — when an LTO-9 tape cartridge is removed from the tape drive an air gap is created between the tape data and the system preventing access by cyber criminals and malicious software like ransomware providing you the ability to use the protected tape data to recover from a cyberattack.

As you can appreciate, there is a lot to love about LTO-9 technology and we may have gone a little beyond nine LTO-9 features in this article, so what the heck, here are a few more: LTO-9 technology continues to support WORM tape and encryption to help secure data and it supports the Linear Tape File System for ease of use. See more details about LTO-9 technology in a series of short info videos here or view and download the LTO-9 Key Features Infographic here.