Data storage and management are critical concerns for businesses today, given the exponential growth of unstructured data. As such, leaders need to keep an eye on emerging trends to ensure their data remains secure and easily accessible. LTO tape technology continues to gain popularity in this fast-changing environment, with the total tape capacity shipped in 2022 reaching 148.3 Exabytes (EB) (compressed), a 0.5% increase from the previous year. This uptick is driven by continued hyperscaler and enterprise investment in LTO technology, which is seen as a low-cost, secure, and green data storage solution. Moreover, LTO tape technology provides an ultra-secure place to keep an air-gapped copy of data to protect against ransomware and malware.

Record-breaking LTO Tape Shipment Capacity and Industry Performance
In 2022, the LTO tape capacity shipments hit a record high, with a total of 148.3 Exabytes shipped. This represents a 0.5% increase over 2021 and demonstrates that LTO tape technology is outperforming alternative storage technologies. In comparison, an article from Forbes magazine reveals that the capacity of hard disk drive shipments declined by 12% in the same period, with HDD units falling by over 30% compared to the previous year. The resurgence in enterprise demand for air-gapped security and highly dense, cost-effective long-term data storage is driving the increased demand for LTO technology.

LTO Tape Technology Advantages and Applications
LTO tape technology offers a cost-effective solution to address the challenges of managing the exponential growth of unstructured data. Additionally, it provides environmental sustainability benefits and strong protection against ransomware and malware through air-gapped data storage. The latest generation,
LTO-9, further increases storage capacity, supporting up to 45 TB when compressed.

Future LTO Roadmap and Compatibility Features
The LTO program continues to innovate and expand its capabilities. LTO-9 drives provide backward compatibility with LTO-8 cartridges and feature hardware-based encryption, WORM capability, and LTFS support. Looking ahead, the LTO program has announced an ambitious roadmap that aims to achieve over 1.4 Petabytes of compressed capacity per cartridge by the 14th generation of the technology.


Businesses are constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption while still maintaining the necessary computing power to innovate and provide goods and services as promised. By adopting LTO technology, companies can lower their carbon footprint by converting disk storage to tape storage. A new report from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) details how converting to LTO technology can help lower the environmental impact of CO2 emissions, save on costs related to waste disposal, and provide a substantial environmental benefit over data centers.

The Dilemma of Data Centers!
Nobody disputes that data centers are essential but they contribute a staggering 5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating the planet’s climate crisis. These technological behemoths guzzle energy from the burning of fossil fuels used to power their computing and cooling systems and this contributes to the production of harmful carbon dioxide. Methane and nitrous oxide, potent greenhouse gases, are also released in the process, while industrial activities emit hazardous synthetic gases. For now, data centers remain a dark force driving climate change so one of the biggest challenges – and opportunities – for companies seeking to become more sustainable is to ‘green their data center’ using all available means, whether that’s a resource owned by the business or a data center contracted through the public cloud.

ESG found organizations can achieve substantial reductions in CO2 emissions by migrating less active data from disk drives to tape drives. The modeled production environment, running around 500 TB of less active data on tape instead of HDD using LTO technology, results in a 6.5 times reduction in CO2 emissions.

ESG analyzed a decade’s worth of end-of-life disposal needs for 500 TB of data, comparing the 3-5 year refresh cycle of disk arrays to the 10+ year service period of tape libraries. The study accounted for deployment, upgrades, and next-gen LTO drive/media updates. Findings show that organizations can achieve a 3x reduction in disposal requirements by opting for tape drives, which reduces both weight and harmful ewaste components like circuit boards.


Aside from the success of LTO tape shipments and the ESG LTO Tape Technology Reliability Study, there has been plenty of other news issued by the LTO Program this year.

Examining Sustainability for Data Storage

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? Read more here.

Ransomware Reveals Astounding Stats
Storage managers are faced with crucial data storage tasks; protect access to the growing cache of information and do so economically. Ransomware is an impending threat to critical data and to the organization. We key excerpts from a ransomware survey that examines these threats and data security practices that organizations face day to day including how a television producer has addressed these key issues. Read more here.

Big Data has Some New Names!
IDC predicts that all of the data in the world, the datasphere, will grow to 221 zettabytes by 2026. That’s a compounded growth rate of about 21 percent*. It’s what some commentators refer to as a ‘data tsunami’! A zettabyte is a really big number – a trillion gigabytes no less –  but hold tight because new and bigger byte measurement terms have been added to the International System (IS) of Units in preparation for this huge wave (or even waves) of digital data. Read more here.