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A Bit of Shade for the “Backup as Archive” Crowd

by Administrator on December 18, 2017

Tomorrow is the next Data Management Institute workshop with Virtualization Review, and the last of 2017.  This one will cover data preservation strategy (aka archive) and will feature our usual mix of actionable info and humor.  Hope you can spare the time from your busy workday to attend.

Here is a piece of art we worked up to throw some shade on the “backup as archive” marketecture we still read in some of the trade press pubs.

Special thanks to Virtualization Review and to sponsor, StrongBox Data Solutions, for believing in this project.  Hope you will join us.


Promoting LTO-8

by Administrator on November 9, 2017

Not sure if this violates Fair Use Doctrine, but I have been wondering what it will take to reach a broad audience about the capabilities of tape technology, especially the new LTO-8 standard tape technology.  Here’s a concept I have noodled with.  I may have to take it down if someone balks about copyrights.


LTO-8 Star Wars Style from Jon Toigo on Vimeo.



by Administrator 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.


Spectra Logic Joins the LTO-8 Advance Party

by Administrator on October 11, 2017

 Today, Spectra Logic announced a tape technology “pre-purchase” program that provides customers with LTO-7 tape drives and media for use until LTO-8 technology becomes available.  The customer goes to the head of the line and will be the first to receive the new drives when they begin shipping.

According to the announcement from the Boulder, CO-based storage stalwart:

“LTO-8 tape technology doubles the capacity of LTO-7 to an astonishing 30 TB compressed (12TB native) per cartridge, and improves performance by 20 percent, up to 360MB/sec. The additional capacity equates to fewer tape cartridges required to store the same amount of data while the performance boost translates into the need for fewer tape drives to do the same amount of work. In addition, the new LTO-8 drives are backward compatible with LTO-7 tape media, allowing users to read/write any LTO-7 media.”

“Once available, LTO-8 tape drives and media will ship with Spectra’s entire line of tape libraries and be fully compatible with Spectra’s BlueScale® library software. When fully populated with LTO-8 drives and media, all of Spectra’s tape libraries, including its most compact, the Spectra® T50e Tape Library, will support at least one petabyte of compressed storage capacity. The Spectra TFinity® ExaScale® Tape Library configured with LTO-8 will deliver 58PB of compressed storage capacity in a three-frame footprint and up to 1.6EB of compressed storage capacity in Spectra’s largest configuration of 44 frames. In addition, LTO-8 tape technology will support LTFS, WORM and AES 256-bit hardware encryption.”

We are delighted to see the swirl of interest around tape technology and we liked an infographic that Spectra created in time for its announcement.  Here is a copy in PDF format. 

LTO8 Infographic

Alternatively, you can DOWNLOAD infographic directly from the company website and REGISTER for a free webinar to be held on 2 November while you are there.

Thanks, Spectra Logic, for sharing the news with us.


NOTE:  At Spectra Logic’s request, the background tape library in the Mona Lisa pic above has been changed from a Quantum Scalar to a Spectra Logic T-Finity frame.  Thanks, Leigh G., for pointing out the dissonance that may have been caused by the image.


At Long Last: Data Management Institute Reboot

October 10, 2017

Following a server hack in May, we thought long and hard about rebuilding our little “empire” of web sites and came to the conclusion that we would combine Storage, Security, Archive,, Information, and a couple of other blogs into a single Data Management Institute portal.  We are pleased to announce […]

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No H8 for LTO-8

October 10, 2017

Okay.  We admit it.  We like tape on this blog.  Tape solves a ton of problems efficiently and cost-effectively.  Tape is green.  It has a lot of capacity — especially the latest enterprise and LTO varieties — and it is getting bigger.  Tape is resilient.  It provides an air gap to prevent the spread of […]

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Tape Skills Gap? Say It Isn’t So

October 10, 2017

For all the enthusiasm around tape technology that we encountered during our visit to IBM’s Executive Briefing Center in Tucson, AZ, we worried that there might be an impediment to the uptake of tape technology in the form of a lack of training.  We wrote about this some time back:  after presenting a DMI certification […]

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Security Concerns May Be Helping To Drive Tape Technology

October 10, 2017

It seems like we can’t pick up a newspaper or visit an online aggregator without encountering yet another tale of data security gone wrong.  Whether its a virus, a phish, or a ransomware attack, we are seeing a lot of “the dark side” of the Internet these days. So, information security is front and center […]

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Archive is Tape’s Killer App

October 10, 2017

Today’s announcements from IBM around LTO-8 tape technology found receptive ears here.  We got an advanced briefing in Tucson, AZ from four of IBM’s big tape brains and the conversation turned to the “killer app” that they saw sustaining tape in this age of silicon storage.  In a word, the unanimous response was “data archiving.” […]

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Cloud and Tape: Together at Last

October 10, 2017

If you thought that clouds were supposed to kill tape, think again.  Cloud and tape are fast becoming BFFs, and your cloud storage services bill will benefit from the relationship how long does viagra last 50 mg. That’s according to IBM.  Big Blue invited us out to Tucson, AZ to get a first look at […]

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