Understanding the Advantages of LTO-7

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advantages of LTO-7

With massive amounts of information being created every minute —and no signs of slowing down — the LTO-7 Ultrium tape was developed to offer data storage experts some assistance with protecting and saving their digital yet vital properties.

Before the most recent era of the LTO-8 cartridge, the LTO-7 tape offered more than twice the capacity limit of its past LTO counterparts.

The LTO-7 tape Ultrium was established for long term information protection that ensures data security as it sustains fast, reliable access to stored data and promises business flexibility.

Features and Benefits of LTO 7 Ultrium Tape

LTO-7 tapes have more than double the capacity of LTO-6 tapes With an uncompressed storage capacity of 6TB and a compressed capacity of up to 15TB.

LTO 7 tape drives and LTO7 tapes are supported by manufacturers like IBM, HP, Quantum, Sony, Fujifilm and Maxell.

LTO-7 tape drive technology also increases the tape head channel count from 16 to 32. This increase provides a higher data transfer rate, bringing about a reduction of nearly 50% of the time to read or write a full tape.

LTO-7 Type M (M8 labeled) brings even more capacity of  22.5TB compressed using LTO8 drives and standalone drives.

Low Cost

The cost per storage gigabyte in terms of both tape and disk continue to decline, however tape storage sustains its lead over disk when the overall TCO (total cost of ownership) is taken into account. The TCO of data storage consists of energy usage, floor space and equipment requirements. The average cost of an LTO tape can be less than a penny per gigabyte, much less than any equivalent disk storage solution.

High Capacity

The generation of LTO7 technology provides up to 15 TB of compressed storage per cartridge, more than most rival storage technologies and twice the compressed capacity of the previous LTO-6 generation. The LTO7 labeling and initialization also allows for higher capacity than the traditional LTO7 tape, delivering exceptional cpaacity with uses in an LTO8 drive.

Secure Offline Storage

Tape storage offers offline information security, separating the data from software bugs that can transpire during constant disk-to-disk backup. Furthermore, LTO technology is the only solution that offers a true “air gap”. Owning a backup completely offline protects your data from both viruses as well as ransomware threats. LTO7 also delivers hardware-based data encryption for LTO-4 drives and newer. This encryption offers powerful tape-level algorithm that doesn’t affect compression, performance or capacity.

Open Standard

LTO technology has what is considered an “open” format, which means that several different competing storage manufacturers can produce LTO drives and LTO cartridges that are compatible with one another. Even better is the fact that each LTO generation is also compatible with its previous generation, allowing users to make the most of their storage investment as technology continues to evolve.


Tape storage is one of the most consistent storage solutions available. LTO technology brings a better bit error rate than disk, ensuring that your data is there when you need it most.


It’s most obvious that tape cartridges are stronger and more durable than any disk drive. This allows tape to be easily – and economically – moved offsite. Also with a Linear Tape File System (LTFS), you can stockpile and archive large data files on numerous hardware and software platforms.

How does LTO-7 Tape Work?

LTO-7 Ultrium tape is laid out with 4 broad bands sandwiched among five narrow servo bands. The tape head assembly, that reads from and writes on the tape, overlaps a single data band and the two neighboring servo bands.

LTO-7 Tape

Tape wraps advance in forward and reverse passes, with small shifts towards the middle on every pass. Similar to shingles on a roof, the tracks written on every pass partially overlap the tracks written within the previous wrap of the same route. The back and forth pattern, starting from the edges and moving inward, in theory look a lot like a coiled snake; hence the name linear serpentine recording.

How does LTO-7 Compare to Prior LTO Generations?

Generation to Generation Comparison

Gen to Gen

Capacity Increase

Perforformance Increase

LTO4 to LTO5



LTO5 to LTO6



LTO6 to LTO7



LTO-7 in a Nutshell

Storage Capacity

    – 6TB native and up to 15TB Compressed


    – Transfer rates of up to 700 MB/sec

Backward Compatible

   – LTO 7 drives can read LTO 5 tapes and Read and Write to LTO 6 Tapes

Forward Compatibility

   – LTO 7 tapes are able to be read and be written to by LTO 8 tape drives and be able to be read by LTO 9 drives. LTO7 also has an LTO7 Type M label which allows for more capacity and the tapes to be used in an LTO8 drive.


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