Quantum Blog

When Will Tape Cease To Be Relevant? Probably Never.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been updating a number of technical documents about how LTO-7 and soon to be released LTO-8 have made quantum leaps in both capacity (recording density) and data reliability. During this process, I thought back to the days of old when we old-timers were just getting started, before data storage became a specialty. It’s somewhat mind-boggling how far data recording has progressed in recent years. Back in the day, the maximum data capacity of a 2,400-foot 9-track tape reel, recorded at 6,250 BPI was 170 MB. Today LTO-7 recording density is 19,107 bits/mm, which equates to 477,675 BPI, providing 6 TB per cartridge on a 3,400-foot piece of media—and LTO-8 is projected to have 12 TB per cartridge. Truly amazing!