LTO-6 tape storage cost drops further

The backers of LTO tape storage have hit back at disc-based alternatives claiming that LTO is the most reliable and cost-effective format. LTO Generation 6 tape has reached a cost-per-gigabyte milestone of below a cent and $8 per terabyte, according to the LTO Program.

The LTO Ultrium format is developed by HP, IBM and Quantum Corporation.

The LTO Ultrium format is developed by HP, IBM and Quantum Corporation.

“As the price per gigabyte for tape storage continues to drop, LTO plays an increasingly vital role in the datacenter for a range of unique datasets and stages in the data lifecycle”, explained Rob Clark, svp, Quantum Corporation. “LTO allows organizations to keep more data for longer periods of time by storing the right data at the right time on the most cost-effective storage tier.”

The survey by the LTO Program assumed LTO-6 cartridge prices of $50.50 based on more than two dozen websites offering the cartridges and assuming compressed capacity of a single cartridge.

When factors such as equipment, media, maintenance, energy costs and floor space are taken into account, LTO tape storage technology continues to be the most cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for data storage managers worldwide, states Quantum.

Analysts The Clipper Group found that the average disk-based solution costs 26 times the total cost of ownership for an average tape-based solution.

“The cost of energy alone for the average disk-based solution exceeds the entire total cost of ownership for the average tape-based solution,” said David Reine, senior analyst with The Clipper Group. “Tape, with a more than 60-year history of success in the data center, has evolved to a point where it can be the solution of choice for the preservation of data in every data center. Tape is an obvious solution, so why not use it?”

The current generation of LTO technology – LTO generation 6 – supports tape cartridge storage compressed capacity of up to 6.25TB, more than twice the compressed capacity over the previous generation, and tape drive data transfer rates of up to 400MB per second.

The LTO Program recently announced the extension of the LTO roadmap through generation 9 and 10. The new generation guidelines call for compressed capacities of 62.5 TB for generation 9 and 120 TB for generation 10.

The LTO Ultrium format is a open tape format developed and continuously enhanced by technology providers HP, IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation.

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