LTO-4

Encryption-enabled tape storage format

With tape backup still a viable cost-effective option, including implementation in a D2D2T (disk-to-disk-to-tape) scenario, there are needs to increase performance and capacity. In addition, new laws such as California's SB 1386 require businesses to publicly disclose the exposure or potential exposure of private data.

As the first open tape standard featuring native AES 256-bit data encryption, LTO 4 drives will encrypt data to Generation 4 LTO cartridges, and then decrypt data upon reading for those with the correct key.

The LTO4 specification also supports enhanced capacity and performance improvements. One LTO-4 cartridge has the capability to hold the contents of up to eight LTO-1 cartridges, with support for up to 800 GB native data capacity, and 1.6 TB of compressed data per cartridge. In addition, LTO-4 supports up to 120 Mbps native data transfer rate, for up to 864 GB / hour performance, enabling businesses to better manage their backup windows.

Other features that were included in the LTO-3 specification, and are still featured in the LTO-4 specification include:

  • WORM-capability
  • independent tape loader & threader motors
  • graceful dynamic braking
  • dual-stage 16-channel head actuator
  • ECC (Error Correction Code) and SARS (Statistical Analysis & Reporting System) for data protection & reliability
  • 5 1/4" form factor
Linear Tape -Open Ultrium Side-by-Side Comparison
Generation LTO-1 LTO-2 LTO-3 LTO-4
Native Data Capacity 100 GB 200 GB 400 GB 800 GB
Max Speed (MB/s) 15Mbps 40Mbps 80Mbps 120Mbps
Built-in WORM capability No No Yes Yes

IBM LTO-4 Features

IBM Ultrium LTO-4 hardware features attachments to 4Gbps FC, 3Gbps SAS, or Ultra160 LVD SCSI, with encryption capabilities included with al Fibre & SAS drives. The internal buffer is doubled to 256MB (versus 128MB for Ultrium 3), and digital speed matching is offer for backwards-compatibility.


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