Definition

LTO-5 (Linear Tape-Open 5)

Contributor(s): Ed Hannan

LTO-5 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium released in 2010. It has since been supplanted by LTO-6, with planned LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 versions as yet unreleased. According to the Consortium, LTO-5 capacity is in the area of 3 terabytes (TB), with data transfer rates of up to 280 megabytes per second (MBps). In both cases, LTO-5 tape capacity assumes a 2:1 compression ratio; uncompressed capacity/throughput is 1.5 TB per 140 MBps.

LTO is a magnetic tape data storage technology developed in the late 1990s as an open standard alternative to the formats available at the time. The LTO-4 tape format was released in 2007 and can hold 1.6 TB (800 gigabytes uncompressed). LTO-4 was the first iteration of LTO tape to include 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard-Galois Counter Mode drive-level encryption.

LTO-6, which succeeded LTO-5, was released in December 2012. According to the Consortium, LTO-6 capacity is 6.25 TB, with data transfer rates up to 400 MBps, assuming a larger 2.5:1 compression ratio, with uncompressed capacity/throughput of 2.5 TB per 160 MBps.

Future LTO specifications

The Consortium has announced LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 tape formats, but they are not yet available as of June 2015. Here are the projected specifications:

  • LTO-7: 16 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates up to 788 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 6.4 TB per 315 MBps.
  • LTO-8: 32 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 1,180 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 12.8 TB per 472 MBps.
  • LTO-9: 62.5 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 1,770 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 26 TB per 708 MBps.
  • LTO-10: 120 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 2,750 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 48 TB per 1,100 MBps.
This was last updated in June 2015

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Are you still using LTO-5 tape or have you moved to LTO-6?
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In an era where people are still running Windows XP, it's hard to envision many people already making the switch to a new tape specification, even if it is faster. Does anybody track this? And, can you run 5 and 6 in the same organization, or do you have to swap everything over at once?
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