Published under Category : Tape Storage

LTO-9 May Finally hit the market by September 2021

LTO-9 with 18TB Native capacity will put the tape on the same league as Hard drives in terms of capacity, and it looks like it may hit the market next month.

LTO-8 was launched in 2018, although it did not become available to the channel until mid-2019 after Fuji and Sony settled their patent dispute. LTO-9's launch has been delayed twice, but it finally looks like LTO-9 drives will hit the market in late September.

Quantum had an LTO-9 pre-purchase program last year (and they have one now), so understandably the first batch will go to their cloud customers and those who pre-purchased it, so it probably will not be available to the channel immediately after launch.

With the native capacity of 18TB, the capacity of the LTO-9 media is 50% higher than the previous Gen 8 and not double what it normally is. Transfer rates are a little over 10% higher from 360 MB /s to 400 MB /s (Native rates). The compression ratio is still assumed to be 2.5:1, so the compressed capacity and transfer rates increase in the same proportion as the native rates.

The LTO organization's website mentions that the LTO-9 tape drive will have full read and write compatibility with LTO-8 tape media, but it does not mention whether it will also read LTO-7 media. Typically with LTOs, previous generation media is read and write compatible and second previous generation media is read compatible, with LTO-8 being the only exception. Also LTO-7 Type M (M8) media would be mostly incompatible ( LTO-8 drive will be the only drive that supports LTO-7 M8 media). LTO-7 M8 was used by owners of LTO-8 drives as an interim solution when LTO-8 media was unavailable due to a legal dispute between Sony and Fuji.

For long-term, cost-effective, and secure air-gap data storage, nothing works as well as LTO tapes. LTO-9 with a capacity of 18/45 TB will be essential for protecting massive unstructured data and it's about time!


About Author : Akash Jain

I have worked in Data Storage Industry since 1998. I loves Technology and write often about NAS, Hard drives, Tapes and Flash technologies

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