LTO-8 (Linear Tape-Open 8)

Contributor(s): Ed Hannan

LTO-8 is a planned, but not yet released tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium. It will succeed the LTO-7 version.

LTO-8 is one of three tape formats in the consortium's long-term plans, along with LTO-9 and LTO-10. Versions released previously included LTO-1, LTO-2, LTO-3, LTO-4, LTO-5 and LTO-6.

The consortium has released draft specifications for LTO-8, stating it will offer 32 terabytes (TB) of compressed capacity, sustained data transfer rates of up to 1,180 megabytes per second (MBps) for compressed data, uncompressed capacity of 12.8 TB and an uncompressed transfer rate of 472 MBps. Capacity and data transfer rates for LTO-8 assume a 2.5:1 compression ratio.

As with LTO-5, LTO-6 and LTO-7, LTO-8 will offer partitioning, encryption and the write once, read many (WORM) feature.

Previous LTO versions

LTO-1 was the first version of the LTO magnetic tape data storage technology to serve as an open standard substitute to the available formats of the day. It has native capacity of 100 GB and a native transfer speed of 20 MBps.

LTO-2 offered 200 GB capacity (400 GB compressed) and 40 MBps throughput (80 MBps compressed), doubling the speed and capacity of LTO-1. Capacity and data transfer rates for LTO-2 assume a 2:1 compression ratio.

LTO-3 doubled native capacity to 400 GB (800 GB compressed) and transfer rates to 80 MBps (160 MBps compressed). It was the first LTO format to feature WORM.

LTO-4 again doubled capacity to 800 GB native capacity (1.6 TB compressed) and boosted transfer rates to 120 MBps (240 MBps compressed). LTO-4 had 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard-Galois Counter Mode drive-level encryption.

LTO-5 boosted native capacity to 1.5 TB (3 TB compressed) and data transfer rates to 140 MBps (280 MBps compressed) with a 2:1 compression ratio.

LTO-6 features 2.5 TB native capacity (6.25 TB compressed) with native sustained data transfer rates as high as 160 MBps (400 MBps compressed).

LTO-7 offers 6.4 TB native capacity (15 TB compressed) with native sustained data transfer rates of 315 MBps (788 MBps compressed). Capacity and data transfer rates for LTO-6 and LTO-7 assume 2.5:1 compression ratios.

Future LTO formats and specifications

The consortium has LTO-9 and LTO-10 tape formats in its roadmap, but neither one has been released as of September 2015. The projected specifications for each format are as follows:

  • LTO-9: 26 TB capacity (62.5 TB compressed) and 708 MBps throughput (1,770 MBps compressed).
  • LTO-10: 48 TB capacity (120 TB compressed) and 1,100 MBps throughput (2,750 MBps compressed).
This was last updated in September 2015

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