IBM Partnering With Quantum on LTO Drives

SAN JOSE, Calif. — IBM is collaborating with Quantum on “next-generation” Linear Tape Open (LTO) data storage technology.

Quantum will partner with IBM in its development of LTO-10 tape drives and media to accelerate time to market, capacity, and performance, according to Quantum last month.

Quantum focuses on unstructured data and video storage.

The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

LTO for Cold Data Storage and Ransomware Protection

LTO, also known as the LTO Ultrium format, is an open tape format designed for high-capacity long-term storage and is used by many of the world’s largest hyper-scalers and enterprises for archiving data and protecting data against ransomware.

LTO tape is increasingly being used for large-scale cold storage, due to its low cost, low power and cooling requirements, reliability for storing data for decades, and storage density. Quantum is a leader in providing tape technology to hyper-scale environments.

“We are excited about this partnership with IBM,” says Bruno Hald, general manager of secondary storage, Quantum.

“Customers and the tape market in general will benefit with faster time to market of the next LTO generation and its anticipated improvements in LTO storage densities.

“We believe this news will be very well received in the market for all of those customers that rely on LTO as a key part of their storage infrastructure.”

LTO Now and Then

The latest generation of LTO, LTO-8, began shipping in 2017 with tape capacity of 12 terabytes per drive. The upcoming LTO-9 has a targeted capacity point of 18 terabytes per drive. Work is now beginning on LTO-10, and this agreement will focus on accelerating the development of LTO-10.

Since the first LTO products were brought to market in 2000, over 5.6 million drives, 351 million cartridges, and over 370 billion terabytes of media capacity have been shipped, making LTO Ultrium the most successful tape format in history, according to LTO Program, a standards body.

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