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LTO Roadmap and LTO-7 inquiries

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Tim Jones
LTO Roadmap and LTO-7 inquiries
on Jan 13, 2014 at 4:33:32 pm

Hi Folks,

We've been being asked quite a bit lately as to the LTO roadmap and the schedule for LTO-7's release. Some of this is from people concerned about their data growth when moving to either 4K or RED's new Dragon-based cameras while a few are hoping that the release of LTO-7 will cause a drop in the pricing of LTO-5 and LTO-6. Additionally, the roadmap presented by the LTO.org site has put forward that the LTO-7 format will support up to 16TB/tape.

As to the schedule, the TPC team (the engineering behind LTO from the member companies) has not even come to agreement on the standard's final specifications. No additional schedule can be assigned until the final spec is agreed upon and approved by all member organizations. Once that spec is agreed upon, the engineering designs must be created and proven viable. This step could actually cause a revisit to the specification. While we do expect the standard to be completed in mid to late 2014 based on the past 15 years of development and delivery, the process of engineering and finalizing the physical hardware can take another 10 to 18 months. Again, based on the history of the technology, we expect to see customer-ready units no earlier than late 2015 and possibly into early 2016. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to eat these words if that schedule is beaten, but I'm trying to set real expectations for you, the user, rather than the sometimes overly aggressive information put out in marketing documents.

For the capacity and performance numbers, please keep in mind that the numbers on the LTO.org roadmap are based on a compression level that absolutely doesn't apply to the types of file data that we are creating in the M&E space. Therefore, even though the roadmap claims "up to 6.25TB" for LTO-6, as any of you that are working with LTO-6 currently have discovered, the real number is 2.5TB. This is because the data that we are creating is already compressed by the camera used in it's creation or the capture mode used when ingesting from tape.

As for the LTO-7 and LTO-8 performance and capacity values, remember that these are merely "projections". In much the same way that LTO-6 was projected as 3TB native / 7TB Compressed yet in reality resulted in 2.5TB native / 6.25TB compressed, the projected values for LTO-7 and LTO-8 are most likely not going to come in at the numbers listed.

For the immediate future, LTO-6 is the biggest and fastest for tape. The current pricing is not artificially inflated, so even when LTO-7 ships, we don't expect pricing to come down significantly.

The only alternative to LTO in capacity and performance would be to look into the T10000C or T10000D devices from Oracle / Sun Oracle T10000 Tape Drives. These provide a major step forward in both capacity and performance over the current LTO devices. However, the cost of the drive is dramatically higher as well. A single T10000C drive will set you back around US$25K while the T10000D is expected to be around US$32K (these depends on how you buy the product).

BTW - BRU fully supports the complete Oracle T10000 family of drives and libraries.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Robert Ober
Re: LTO Roadmap and LTO-7 inquiries
on Aug 24, 2015 at 7:17:54 pm

Hey Tim,

I am a BRU user with LTO 6 HP External.

Any update on the LTO 7 progress?

Thanks,
Robert

Robert A. Ober
IT Consultant, Vidcaster, & Freelancer
http://www.infohou.com
Houston, TX


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO Roadmap and LTO-7 inquiries
on Aug 24, 2015 at 7:56:31 pm

Hi Robert,

No firm news yet. We're hoping that we'll have initial engineering samples before Christmas. If all goes well, that means first customer shipments in Fall of 2016. However, engineering samples and finished product are two very different creatures, so I may be completely wrong ;).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.tolisgroup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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