Later this month, Sony Electronics will begin shipping LTO Ultrium 3 storage media, strengthening the format with a new source of quality data cartridges. Sony LTO Ultrium 3 media has passed compliance verification by the LTO Program members, comprised of Certance, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
Bearing the Ultrium trademark, Sony-branded LTO Ultrium 3 data cartridges feature a 400GB native storage capacity (800GB using 2:1 compression) and a sustained native transfer rate of up to 80MB/second (160MB/second compressed). In addition to standard LTO Ultrium 3 media, Sony will also support the format's recently announced WORM (Write Once Read Many) enhancement by offering LTO Ultrium 3 WORM media in early 2005.
"The combination of our manufacturing excellence with the benefits of LTO technology creates a data storage product that our customers can rely on," said Masaki Hattori, director of marketing for data media in Sony Electronics' Media & Application Solutions Division. "We have supported the LTO format since its inception and are delighted to be among the first manufacturers to deliver LTO Ultrium 3 media."
The open specification of the LTO Ultrium format has resulted in widespread popularity of LTO products among storage end-users. According to recent research from Freeman Reports, LTO technology accounted for 59 percent of total super tape drive shipments in 2003.
"The availability of LTO Ultrium 3 will continue driving the adoption of the LTO format, which is expected to grow at a projected 15 percent annual rate through 2009," said Bob Abraham, president of Freeman Reports. "The capacity and performance benefits of third-generation LTO technology, along with its time-to-market, favorably position the format against competing technologies."
Sony gained its license to manufacture LTO Ultrium 3 media after successfully completing extensive quality and performance testing. This testing must be completed again each year for manufacturers to maintain the certification, ensuring compatibility with the full line of third-generation LTO drives.
Sony is also a manufacturer of LTO Ultrium generation 2 and generation 1 tape cartridges. LTO Ultrium 3 drives are backwards read/write compatible with generation 2 cartridges, and backwards read compatible with generation 1 cartridges.
About Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Technology
LTO technology is a powerful, scaleable, adaptable open tape format created by technology providers Certance, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM Corporation to help meet the growing demands of data protection in the midrange to enterprise-class server environments. This ultra-high capacity generation of tape storage products is designed to deliver outstanding performance, capacity and reliability, combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, bi-directional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout and error correction.
According to the Program members, the LTO Ultrium format has a well-defined roadmap for growth and scalability - a roadmap that projects a doubling of speed and capacity with each new generation. The members also maintain that independent compliance verification is "vital to meet the free-interchange objectives that are at the core of the LTO Program."
Ultrium tape mechanism and tape cartridge interchange specifications are available on a licensee basis.
Sony's History on Tape
Sony's expertise in magnetic tape recording dates back more than 50 years, when the company marketed the first magnetic tape in Japan. Decades of experience strengthen the company's current data media capabilities, which range from 8mm and half-inch cartridges to single-spool to two-spool designs. Among the many other tape storage formats that Sony supplies are AIT, SAIT, DDS, Mammoth, DLT and Super DLT.
Pricing and Availability
Sony LTO Ultrium 3 tape cartridges will be available later this month nationwide for purchase through wholesale distributors, resellers, and direct marketers for about $175 per cartridge. Sony LTO Ultrium 3 media carries the official Ultrium certification verification mark for authenticity.