Many organizations are already cost conscious and cybersecurity aware when it comes to storing data, but now they are adding sustainability objectives to the equation as well. What is sustainability, what are the data storage implications and how can these objectives be attained? We will discuss these topics and more in this edition of LTO BlogBytes. Let’s go!


According to the National Geographic Society, “Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly, so they can support both present and future generations.”  Natural resources are prevalent in almost everything we do. For example, cell phones contain copper and zinc and, as we know, forests are used for lumber in the construction of homes and other structures. Many businesses and governments have committed to sustainable goals, such as reducing their environmental footprints and conserving resources. Organizations are seeking ways to implement sustainable business practices and green technology. This can be seen in data storage environments especially with the use of LTO technology. Read on to see how.


It is expected that persistent data that needs to be stored will grow by up to 30% per year. Most of this data is likely to be so-called ‘cold data’: information that needs to be retained for compliance, regulatory or business purposes, but which isn’t accessed frequently or required to support critical business processes. Businesses must store this ever increasing amount of cold data securely, economically and sustainably. LTO tape technology is secure, long term, low cost data storage and can help you ‘green’ your data center.

As outlined at the LTO program Sustainability page:

  • Tape remains the lowest cost storage media on a $/GB basis. Try the TCO Calculator for Data Storage solutions here.
  • Tape technology has more room to grow in areal density and therefore capacity, and has a well-defined roadmap reaching 14 generations and 1,440 TB (compressed) per cartridge.

In addition, an LTO tape cartridge stored offline on a shelf, containing TBs of data, draws no power helping to ‘green’ the data center environment and address sustainability goals. That’s not all — tape storage can help reduce CO2 emissions. See how next.


The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in their white paper, Sustainability Benefits of Deploying LTO Technology in Modern IT Ecosystems, reported that, “storage arrays emit considerably more CO2 annually than tape libraries. By migrating data that is less active from disk drives to tape drives, organizations can achieve significant reductions in CO2 emission.” ESG explained that storing 500 TB of less active data on tape versus HDD could provide a 6.5x reduction in CO2 emissions.

We can surmise that not all enterprise data requires immediate or low-latency access. Why? Because a majority of the data will be infrequently accessed making it a candidate for retention on low cost highly reliable media — LTO technology.


Learn more about sustainability initiatives at the LTO program sustainability page and how LTO technology can help you go ‘green’.