Introducing LTO-7 Type M Media
The LTO Program is introducing a new capability with LTO-8 drives: The ability of the LTO-8 drive to write 9 TB on a brand new LTO-7 cartridge instead of 6 TB as specified by the LTO-7 format. Such a cartridge is called an LTO-7 cartridge initialized as Type M media.
Q: What is LTO generation 7 cartridge initialized as LTO-7 Type M media?
A: LTO-7 Type M media is manufactured and logoed as LTO Ultrium 7 media but labeled with a barcode label ending with the last 2 characters “M8” and initialized at a higher Type M density. This LTO-7 Type M media will have 9TB native capacity or up to 22.5TB compressed 2.5:1
Q: When is LTO-7 Type M media initialized?
A: Media can be purchased as pre-initialized LTO-7 Type M media or as un-initialized LT0-7 media. Un-initialized LTO-7 media can
be initialized as LTO-7 Type M media by applying an “M8” barcode label and writing data to the media in a tape library that supports un-initialized LTO-7 Type M media.
Q: Is LTO-7 Type M media interchangeable among different LTO-8 manufacture’s drives?
A: Yes, LTO-7 Type M media behaves exactly as standard cartridges in terms of vendor compatibility. Irrespective of the drive manufacturer that initializes the cartridge, an LTO-7 Type M media can be used in any other LTO-8 drive manufacturer.
Q: Can previously used LTO-7 media be converted to LTO-7 Type M media?
A: No, the LTO-7 Type M media can only be created with new, un-initialized media. Previously used LTO-7 media will remain as such for the life of the media. Similarly, previously used LTO-7 Type M media will remain as such for the life of the media.
Q: Who is responsible for ensuring that LTO-7 “L7” labeled media and Type M, “M8” labeled media have been initialized correctly?
A: Compatible LTO-8 tape libraries will only initialize LTO-7 brand new cartridges as LTO-7 Type M media if the barcode label “M8” has been applied to the cartridge. Ultimately, it is the end-user responsibility to ensure tape library compatibility and to label cartridges correctly. The TPC’s do not provide compliance testing to verify, and do not otherwise verify, the proper use of the Type M “M8” labeling by others.
Q: Do all LTO-8 tape library products support LTO-7 Type M media?
A: This depends on the LTO-8 tape library vendor. Please consult your product documentation.
Q: Do all LTO-8 standalone tape drive products, i.e. not installed in a library, support previously initialized LTO-7 Type M media?
A: Yes. However, LTO-8 standalone tape drive products will typically initialize new, un-initialized LTO-7 media as LTO-7 Type A media (6 TB native) regardless of the barcode label that is applied. Please consult your product documentation.
Q: What happens if an LTO-7 Type M media is loaded into an LTO-7 tape drive?
A: The drive will post an error message indicating that the cartridge format is incompatible and will not thread the media. In other words, an LTO-7 tape drive will not be able to load an LTO-7 Type M media.
Q: Will LTO-9 tape drives be backward compatible with LTO-7 Type M media?
A: Only LT0-8 Drives will be capable of reading LTO-7 media initialized as LTO-7 Type M media. If backward read in LTO-9 drives is required LTO-8 media should be used instead.
Q: Will LTO-7 Type M media support LTO format existing features?
A: LTO-7 Type M media will support existing LTO format features including data compression, encryption and partitioning enabling LTFS. LTO-7 Type M media will not be supported on WORM cartridges.