What is an LTO tape?

LTO is a cartridge-based tape system and industry standard for data information backup. This means it has been adopted by several manufacturers, there is a roadmap for the future, and the longevity of LTO is ensured by a consortium of manufacturers who have committed to the on-going development of the format. LTO for data archive is used widely in banks, government departments, insurance, wherever large amounts of information needs to be recorded and reliably archived.

The current and latest offering is LTO6. This provides 2.5 terabytes of storage, and is now available as a Thunderbolt solution, which is fully Mac compatible and operates in an easy drag and drop way (similar to copying files to hard drive.)

Tapes used by LTO6 are regarded as having a life expectancy of 30 years or beyond – FujiFilm, who make the LTO Ultrium 6 cartridges, state on their website:

Long Archival Life Barium Ferrite is chemically stable (already oxidized) and does not easily get demagnetized by outside energy. Therefore magnetic tape using Barium Ferrite is said to have a longer archival life of more than 30 years based on Fujifilm’s acceleration tests.

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