Tapes: LTO

LTO stands for Linear Tape Open. Its a tape format that designed by Seagate, HP, and IBM

LTO tapes are a popular tape format, not least because they can store a huge amount of data. Currently LTO 4 tapes (the largest available) can store up to 1.6 terra bytes. Currently there are four different LTO tapes, though LTO 5 and LTO 6 are on the drawing board.


  • Size: 100 GB (native) 200 GB (compressed)
  • Media Colour: Black, except HP which produces a blue tape
  • Release Date: September 2000.
  • Speed: 20 Mb/s


  • Size: 200 GB (native) 400 GB (compressed)
  • Media Colour: Purple, except HP which produce a dark red tape
  • Release Date: February 2003.
  • Speed: 40 Mb/s


  • Size: 400 GB (native) 800 GB (compressed)
  • Media Colour: Slate-Blue or Blue-Gray, except HP which produce a yellow one.
  • Release Date: November 2004
  • Max Speed:80 MB/s

Note: Introduced WORM feature.


  • Size: 800 GB (native) 1600 GB (compressed)
  • Colour: Green/Teal or Blue-Green
  • Release Date: May 2007
  • Max Speed:120 MB/s.

Note: Now has a feature of 256-bit AES-GCM drive level encryption.

Posted in Tapes. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Tapes: LTO”

  1. LTO Technical Details | ESI Says:

    […] LTO (Linear Tape-Open) is a tape standard developed by HP, IBM, and Seagate as a competitor to DLT. […]

  2. Mini DV Tapes Says:

    LTO Ultrium was developed as a (more or less) drop-in replacement for DLT and has a similar design of 1/2″ wide tape in a (slightly smaller) single reel cartridge

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