By the end of the decade, ‘cold’ or inactive data could represent the majority of Enterprise data stored1. But how best to preserve and protect this valuable data for years, even decades, while reducing storage costs, addressing environmental, social and governance goals and strengthening cybersecurity? The answer is with LTO tape technology. With current LTO-9 tape systems, you can securely store over 25 Petabytes* of data in a single data center rack, at a fraction of the cost and power of disk-based storage2. So bring your archives down to size with innovative and sustainable LTO technology. Big data has never felt so small.

Delivering Scalability and Growth for Generations

LTO technology is currently in its 9th generation with a twenty year history of providing secure, reliable storage for Enterprises and organisations across the world. LTO-9 specifications support tape cartridge storage compressed capacity of up to 45 TB 3, and tape drive data transfer rates of up to 1000MB 3 per second for 3.6 terabytes of storage performance per hour and per drive. New generations have been introduced regularly with higher capacity and transfer rates along with new features to further protect your data and content. LTO specifications for backward compatibility up to generation seven of the technology is to write back one generation and read back two generations. The later 8th and 9th generations of LTO Ultrium tape drives are able to write back and read back one generation.


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.  LTO tape technology is secure, long term, low cost data storage that can help you “green” your data center. Learn more about sustainability initiatives and how LTO tape technology can help at the LTO program sustainability page.



Low cost

According to analysts, Solutions North2, LTO-9 tape has a measurable Return on Investment of up to 1950%4when compared to cloud storage, and 601% compared to HDD4.  Furthermore, as energy restrictions will continue to be part of the daily challenges of data centers, reducing energy of stored data by utilizing LTO-9 offers larger data centers even greater measurable benefits.  The same research estimates that LTO tape consumes 96% less energy than HDD when used for data archives.

Security from ransomware

Data on LTO tape can be stored behind a true physical air gap. A physical air gap offers the ultimate protection against ransomware threats because tapes in an offline vault are completely isolated from threats that strike across the network. This is important because according to research by Enterprise Strategy Group5, only one in seven companies that pay the ransom actually recover all their data. Meanwhile, the cost of a new midrange tape library, with a petabyte of LTO-9 tape storage, is likely to be considerably less than the average ransom demand6.

Flexible expansion capability

  • Tape remains the lowest cost storage media on a $/GB basis
  • With a tape air gap, you make your data more secure against ransomware threats
  • Tape can store data more reliably and for longer periods due to having a far better uncorrected bit error rate (UBER) than Enterprise SATA disk – 10-20 versus 10-15
  • 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.


Sustainability Benefits of Deploying LTO Technology in Modern IT Ecosystems.
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LTO-9 Technology and User Data Reliability Analysis.
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Data Economics: LTO-9 Technology Optimizing Data Value’, Solutions North, May 2023.
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Storage Management in an Age of Minimal Data Deletion, Further Research.
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1 Source: Storage Management in an Age of Perpetual Data Migration, Further Research, May 2023.
2 Source: Data Economics, LTO-9 Technology Optimizing Data Value, Solutions North, May 2023.
3 Assuming a 2.5:1 compression achieved with larger compression history buffer available beginning with LTO generation 6 drives.
4 Assumes 5% recall and retrieval from Cloud per month, and 5-year HDD refresh cycle.
5 The Long Road Ahead to Ransomware Preparedness’, Enterprise Strategy Group, March 2022.
6 Coveware Quarterly Ransomware Blog, April 2023.

*Compression: 2.5:1 assuming typical midrange library