Proprietary storage systems don’t give you a lot of options when you want to transfer data. They can lock you into a system that can be more expensive and lacking innovation.

How the LTO format works

That’s why LTO specifications are open format, designed for interoperability from among multiple competing vendors. These vendors submit their products to compatibility testing to ensure vendor functionality so that an LTO technology from one vendor can be used on a drive provided by another. It’s become the de-facto standard for medium-tier storage needs.

 Protecting Your Investment

Most importantly, the LTO format ensures that your investment today will continue to pay off for years to come. LTO specifications provide backwards compatibility to read/write with previous generations.


  • LTO drive generations 1-7 are able to read tapes from two generations prior and are able to write to tapes from the prior generation.


  • LTO-8 drives can read and write to LTO-7 and LTO-8 media, including
    LTO-7 Type M.


  • LTO-9 drives can read and write to LTO-8 and LTO-9 media only.


  • With a published roadmap, LTO technology allows you to better forecast how to address your future technology as you consider your needs today.

 Linear Tape File System

 And with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), LTO technology options are more compatible than ever before. There’s no need for a proprietary system to locate that document or video file that you’re searching for. LTFS makes it easy and simple. It’s open source and open standard, meaning that it’s broadly available regardless of which brand of LTO technology that you’re using.

Today, LTO technology provides the confidence that the file you save can be accessed by a broad range of partners for years to come. That’s the LTO difference.

LTO Ultrium Roadmap
Addressing your storage needs