LTO-4 finally released

Continuing the support of their six-generation roadmap by doubling capacity, boosting performance, and adding encryption functionality to help address data security concerns, the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Program announced the availability of licenses for the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 specifications for licensing by storage mechanism and media manufacturers.

With the availability of generation 4 specifications, HP, IBM and Quantum -- the three technology provider companies for the LTO Program -- continue on track with the LTO technology roadmap to advance the adaptable, scalable, and industry-leading open format tape technology for users in the midrange tape category. Products based on the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 are expected to be available in 2007.

"There is great anticipation in the market for the release of the LTO Ultrium generation 4 specification which will allow businesses to address their ever-growing backup and archiving requirements with increased performance and capacity," said Jim Wold, Senior VP, Removable Storage and Automation, at Quantum. "The new specification also includes hardware-based AES 256 bit encryption capabilities to provide greater data security, as well as continued support for WORM functionality to address customers’ compliance demands."

The LTO Ultrium format generation 4 doubles storage capacity over generation 3, increasing up to 1.6TB compressed from 800GB (assuming a 2:1 compression). Transfer rates are also improved, to reach speeds up to 240MB per second in generation 4 from up to 160MB per second in generation 3 (assuming a 2:1 compression).

The LTO Ultrium format generation 4 continues to offer WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many) functionality that debuted in generation 3 products, providing a cost-effective means for storing data in a non-rewriteable format to help address compliance requirements. For additional security, generation 4 will feature encryption capabilities that are designed to enable the LTO tape drive hardware-based writing of encrypted data to the LTO Ultrium tape cartridge, helping to protect the storage and transport of sensitive information.

The LTO Ultrium format generation 4 provides for drives with backwards-compatible read-and-write capability with the Ultrium format generation 3 cartridges, and backward read capabilities with Generation 2 cartridges, helping to protect the investment customers have made in LTO technology.

"LTO generation 4 technology is on track to continue to address customers’ data storage concerns, with a strong vision and commitment to providing capacities and features like encryption that the industry is demanding," said Robert C. Abraham, president, Freeman Reports. "LTO generation 4 delivers the security, performance and roadmap that allow businesses to make a confident and secure data protection choice."