Linear Tape Open (or LTO) was originally developed in the late 1990’s as an open standard alternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats that were available at the time. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Seagate (now Quantum) initiated the LTO Consortium, which directs development and manages licensing and certification of media and mechanism manufacturers.

The standard form-factor of LTO technology is called Ultrium, the original version of which was released in 2000 and could hold 100 GB of data. LTO version 6 released in 2012 can hold 2.5 TB in a cartridge of the same size.

Upon introduction, LTO Ultrium rapidly defined the super tape market segment and has consistently been the best-selling super tape format.

LTO1

LTO1

LTO1
Format Ultrium Format
Compressed Capacity 200 Gbytes
Compressed Backup Speed 1.92 Gbytes/min, 32 Mbytes/second, 115.2 Gbytes/hour
Load Time 10 seconds
Average Time to File 76 seconds
Recording Channels 8
Data Tracks 384
Bit Density 124K bpi
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height
Interface Support Ultra2 SCSI – LVD, SCSI-2 HVD – iSCSI interface units now available.

LTO2

LTO2

LTO2

Format Ultrium 2 (LTO2)
Compressed Capacity 400 Gbytes
Compressed Backup Speed 70MB/second, 252 GB/hour
Load Time 15 seconds
Average Time to File 49 seconds
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height
Interface Support Ultra2 SCSI – LVD, SCSI-2 HVD – iSCSI interface units now available.

LTO2 half-height

LTO2 half-height

LTO2 desktop drive

Format Ultrium 2 (LTO2)
Compressed Capacity 400 Gbytes
Compressed Backup Speed 48MB/second, 173 GB/hour
Average Time to File 76 seconds
Form Factor 3.5″ Half Height
Compatibility Backwards compatible with LTO1
Interface Support Ultra2 SCSI – LVD, SCSI-2 HVD – iSCSI interface units now available.

LTO3

LTO3

LTO3

Format Ultrium 3 (LTO3)
Compressed Capacity 800 Gbytes
Compressed Backup Speed 160MB/second, 562GB/hour
Average Time to File 54 seconds
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height
Compatibility Backwards compatible with LTO2
Interface Support Ultra2 SCSI – LVD, SCSI-2 HVD – iSCSI interface units now available.

LTO4

LTO4


LTO4
Format Ultrium 4 (LTO4)
Compressed Capacity 1.6 Tbytes
Compressed Backup Speed 240MB/second, 843GB/hour
Average Time to File 54 seconds
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height
Compatibility Backwards compatible with LTO2 and LT03
Interface Support Ultra2 SCSI – LVD, Fibre Channel, SAS – iSCSI interface units now available.

LTO5

LTO5

LTO5

Format Ultrium 5 (LTO5)
Compressed Capacity 3.0TB
1TB/hr
Average Time to File 54 seconds
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height or half height
Compatibility Backwards compatible with LTO4
Interface Support Fibre Channel, SAS

LTO6

LTO6

LTO5

Format Ultrium 6 (LTO6)
Compressed Capacity 6.25TB Compressed 2.5:1
Compressed Backup Speed 1.45 TB/hr
Average Time to File 54 seconds
Form Factor 5.25″ Full Height or half height
Compatibility Backwards compatible with LTO4
Interface Support Fibre Channel, SAS