LTO is already planning Ultrium Gen14 tapes with a capacity of 576 TB

Data tapes LTO Ultra they are now in their 9th generation. While the first one in 2000 brought a 200GB cartridge and 400GB compressed capacity, LTO-9 already has 18TB and with a compression ratio of 2.5:1 reaches a high compressed capacity of 45TB at a transfer speed of 1000MB/s at a price of just $0.01 per GB. The companies behind LTO (HPE, IBM, Quantum), however, already have plans for the future, and the roadmap is prepared for more than 10 years ahead and now includes a plan for the 14th generation.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact planned dates, so we’ll have to improvise a bit and guess. If we consider that a new generation usually comes after 2-3 years, then the 5 planned generations could be estimated to be enough until 2035. The newly planned Gen14 should bring a native capacity of 576 TB and since it is still calculated with a compression ratio of 2.5:1 , this means a compressed capacity of 1440 TB (1.44 PB). That’s a billion times more than the uncompressed capacity of a 3.5″ floppy disk.

LTO Ultrium roadmapa

LTO (Linear Tape-Open) is a popular method for long-term archiving of huge amounts of data. While 114 EB of compressed capacity were sold in 2019 and fell to 105 EB during the pandemic in 2020, for 2021 it was already a record 148 EB. The interest could also grow further due to the increasing attacks using ransomware, which increases the tendency to follow the 3-2-1-1 backup technique (at least 3 copies of data on 2 types of media, with one in another location, so-called off-site, and one is completely offline).


Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.

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