by John Toigo on NOVEMBER 9, 2017

With so many pre-announcements of LTO-8 tape technologies and products crossing the transom, some of the actual LTO-8 standard specifications appeared to be getting lost in the shuffle. Here, from the Linear Tape Open Program team directly, is the state of the LTO-8 technology and community.

What are the “final” LTO 8 specs?

Final specs are as follows:

  • The new LTO generation 8 specifications are designed to double the tape cartridge capacity from the previous LTO generation 7, with customers now being able to store up to 30TB per cartridge when compressed, 12 TB native.
  • The latest LTO generation 8 specifications are intended to be backwards read and write compatible with LTO generation 7 cartridges.
  • Full-height transfer rate (native) up to 360 MBps
  • Half-height transfer rate (native) up to 300 MBps
  • Please feel free to reference the official release.

What color will the cartridge be?

Color will be determined by manufacturer

What companies are still involved in manufacturing tape solutions? I am interviewing Quantum now, and have spoken to IBM and Spectra Logic. Am I missing any system manufacturers?

HPE, IBM and Quantum are the three Technology Provider Companies, or TPCs, and all three provide tape solutions.
The companies listed below are current LTO Format Specification Participants that have delivered LTO compatible products and components. Companies listed with an asterisk are compliance verified manufacturers that have passed the compliance verification requirements to sell LTO Ultrium branded tape drives and cartridges.

  • Atmel
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise*
  • IBM*
  • Imation
  • Maxell
  • Mountain Engineering
  • NXP Semiconductors
  • Quantum*
  • Sony*
  • Spectra Logic
  • TDK
  • Teijin Dupont Film
  • Toray Industries

Is it true that only IBM is making drives?

All three TPCs contribute to the technology and IP behind the format and design of the drives.

Drives are systems made from many different components, and these components come from multiple sources.

Synergies in the market have consolidated resources and for LTO-8 it is IBM that puts those components together, the other TPCs and LTO providers test and integrate these drives into their systems and develop value-add features to create competitive solutions that keep the market open to competition.

What about media: anyone manufacturing cartridges besides Fujifilm and Sony?

For LTO-8, Fujifilm and Sony are the media manufacturers. Both have relationships with the TPCs and LTO providers to manufacture branded media, so there is also an open market for media where customers have a wide choice of media brands.

Thanks to Daisy Jimenez at Fleishman for getting these answers from the LTO Group.

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