Linear Tape-Open(LTO) is amagnetic tape data storagetechnology originally developed in the late 1990s as anopen standardsalternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats that were available at the time.Hewlett Packard Enterprise,IBM, andQuantumcontrol theLTO Consortium, which directs development and manages licensing and certification of media and mechanism manufacturers.
The standard form-factor of LTO technology goes by the nameUltrium, the original version of which was released in 2000 and stored 100 GBof data in a cartridge. The ninth generation of LTO Ultrium was announced in 2020 and can hold 18 TBin a cartridge of the same physical size.
Upon introduction, LTO Ultrium rapidly defined thesuper tapemarket segment and has consistently been the best-selling super tape format.LTO is widely used with small and large computer systems, especially forbackup
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Comparison Table for LTO1 to LTO9
Native / Compressed
Max Compressed Speed (MB/s)
As HDD prices have dropped, disk has become cheaper relative to tape drives and cartridges. As of 2019, at any capacity, the cost of a new LTO tape drive plus one cartridge is much greater than that of a new HDD of the same or greater storage capacity. However, most new tape cartridges still have a lower price per gigabyte than HDDs, so that at very large subsystem capacities, the total price of tape-based subsystems can be lower than HDD based subsystems, particularly when the higher operating costs of HDDs are included in any calculation
Tape is also used as "offline" copy, which can be protection against ransomware that cipher, or delete data(e.g. tape is pulled out of the system in library, blocked from writing after making copy or using WORM technology). In 2019 about 80 percent of business (then modern) had data stored on tape