LTO 8 – New Technology for Archiving

While I, like most of us, rely on The Cloud for a variety of day-to-day activities, I am not a fan of The Cloud for archiving.

Partly, this is due to the ongoing monthly fees that extend into forever to store materials on a remote server that I may or may not need. And, partly, this is caused by an extremely slow Internet upload connection where I can only upload a gigabyte an hour.

NOTE: I did the math and, based on my current connection, it would take 366 days to upload my data. Deep, depressed sigh…

The problem is that I have well over 60 TB of data that I need to preserve in some form. With that amount of data, my options get even more limited:

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing and reviewing LTO-5 drives. Except, when I checked my notes, I discovered this was back in 2014 – 2015. Technology moves on. LTO has moved from LTO-5 to LTO-8. Tapes that used to hold only a terabyte, now hold up to 12 TB. Where storing my library on LTO-5 would have required more than 60 tapes, using LTO-8 would need only six, with room to spare.

Recently, Dr. Marc Batschkus, Business Development Manager for Archiware, created an infographic to help people understand the differences between the LTO formats and how decide which is best for you.

I found his article, and especially the graphic, very easy to read and helpful in thinking about better ways to archive my data. So, I am recommending it to you.


Explaining LTO tape and a chart to help you choose the system best for you.


Archiving on LTO tape requires both hardware, software and blank tape. Vendors to look at include:

LTO-8 came to market sooner than I was expecting and, if I had the money, I’d buy one of those drives. Media files are exploding in size and, in the past, while LTO made a lot of sense, the storage capacity of tape could not begin to manage the unbelievably large data files we create and work with on a daily basis.

This new LTO technology is finally starting to provide the capacity and speed we need where tape could actually keep up with the media we are creating on a daily basis at a price that independent producers can actually afford.

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