Linear Tape Open Ultrium


Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium is a high-capacity, single-reel tape storage solution, developed by technology companies HP, IBM and Quantum. It is a magnetic tape data storage format with a tape inside a cartridge, often used for backup and archiving. The term “Ultrium” refers specifically to the high-capacity version of the LTO technology.


“Linear Tape Open Ultrium” in phonetics can be pronounced as: “lin-ee-er tayp oh-puhn uhl-tree-uhm”.

Key Takeaways

  1. Linear Tape Open Ultrium, more commonly referred to as LTO Ultrium, is a high-capacity, single-reel type of tape storage which is highly scalable and adaptable, functioning efficiently in high-capacity data archival systems.
  2. LTO Ultrium features multiple generations with each generation offering more data storage capabilities than the previous. The latest generations also provide additional advanced features like partitioning and encryption, ensuring greater data protection and efficient management.
  3. An important technology used in LTO Ultrium is the Linear Tape File System (LTFS). LTFS allows data on an LTO tape to be viewed as though it is a disk or a flash drive. Thanks to this, users can drag and drop files to and from the tape and quickly see what a tape contains while only having access to the tape drive and not any special software.


Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium is an important technology term given its significant role in data storage and tape library backup systems. Developed as an open standard by technology giants like IBM, HP and Quantum, LTO Ultrium provides high-capacity, high-speed, cost-effective data storage with proven reliability. With compression, it can store up to several terabytes of data on a single cartridge, making it an ideal solution for individuals or businesses dealing with extensive amounts of data. Moreover, this technology ensures data longevity while providing a safeguard against hardware failures, data corruption, or loss, playing a crucial role in disaster recovery plans. Hence, its importance lies in its contribution to comprehensive, secure data management strategies.


Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium is a form of data storage technology that provides ultra-high capacity and excellent reliability used typically for backup and archival data. Backing up and archiving essential data is a core responsibility of businesses dealing with large amounts of information. LTO Ultrium, with its high-capacity tape storage, offers secure, durable, and cost-effective solutions for these processes. Each LTO generation uses a tape cartridge that can hold up to 12 TB of uncompressed data, and the tape technology continues to evolve and grow in capacity to cater to sophisticated data requirements. The purpose of LTO Ultrium is to safeguard valuable and sensitive data from loss or corruption. When data reside on servers or in the cloud, there’s always a risk of hardware failure, cyberattack, or inadvertent data removal. To mitigate these risks, businesses can make a backup of their data onto LTO Ultrium tapes. Since the tapes are removable, data can also be archived offsite, away from the business premises, providing better protection against disasters. Furthermore, LTO Ultrium is used in industries with extensive data retention requirements such as healthcare and finance, where it is essential to retain records accurately and securely for several years.


1. Data Backup Storage: Many businesses like financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and e-commerce companies use LTO Ultrium technology in their data centers to store and backup large amounts of information. This technology is known for its high storage capacity, reliability, and excellent data transfer rate, making it an ideal choice for establishing robust disaster recovery strategies.2. Media and Entertainment Industry: Companies involved in the creation, editing, and archiving of videos and movies may employ LTO Ultrium technology. Given the industry’s need to handle high-resolution content, which is typically large in size, linear tape-open solutions provide an effective means for long-term, cost-effective storage, retrieval, and archival of digital assets.3. Government Institutions: Governmental bodies, research institutions, and libraries often use Linear Tape Open Ultrium to set up data archiving systems. They store important administrative data, digital library content, historical data, and research data onto the tapes for long-term preservation and future use. This technology allows for the efficient storage of vast amounts of information over a long period, making it suitable for institutions like NASA that generate enormous amounts of data.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Linear Tape Open Ultrium?A: Linear Tape Open Ultrium, often referred to as LTO Ultrium, is a high-capacity, single-reel tape storage solution developed and continually enhanced by technology providers HP, IBM and Quantum. It’s a key form of data storage particularly used for backup and archiving.Q: Who developed the LTO Ultrium technology?A: The LTO Ultrium was a result of a combined technological development between IBM, HP, and Quantum.Q: What is the storage capacity of LTO Ultrium?A: The storage capacity varies according to the different generations of LTO Ultrium. For instance, LTO-8 Ultrium can store up to 12 TB of data natively and up to 30 TB of compressed data.Q: Why should I consider using LTO Ultrium for my data backup and archiving needs?A: LTO Ultrium provides a large storage space which helps in storing a considerable amount of data. In addition, it has high data transfer rates, long archival life, and robust data protection standards, making it suitable for data backup and archiving.Q: Is LTO Ultrium a secure data storage technology?A: Yes, LTO Ultrium features robust data encryption capabilities that help ensure the security of the data stored. It uses the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for data encryption, which is a high level of security.Q: How does LTO Ultrium compare to other data storage methods?A: LTO Ultrium is well-suited to demands for large-scale, long-term data storage. It provides high-capacity storage, excellent data transfer rate, and secure data encryption. While disk storage or cloud solutions may be more suitable for frequent access, LTO is often a more cost-effective choice for backup and archival storage.Q: Is LTO Ultrium backward compatible?A: Yes, one advantage of LTO Ultrium technology is its backward compatibility. Each new generation of LTO Ultrium can read data from its immediate predecessor and can also write data onto tapes from the immediate previous generation. Q: How long does an LTO Ultrium tape last?A: LTO Ultrium tapes have a long shelf life, typically around 15-30 years in optimal storage conditions. However, the actual life of the tape can vary depending on handling and environmental conditions.

Related Tech Terms

  • Tape Drive
  • Backup Storage
  • Data Archiving
  • Storage Capacity
  • Tape Cartridges

Sources for More Information

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