Demystifying LTO-8: Part II

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Part two of our “Demystifying LTO-8” blog series covers when users should consider implementing LTO-8 drives and media into their data centers.

LTO-8 Drives:

When should I order LTO-8 drives?

  • LTO-8 drives are fully certified in all Spectra Libraries and available for sale now.
  • If you are purchasing a new library but are not yet ready for LTO-8, Spectra offers a pre-purchase program where LTO-7 drives are inserted at setup and can be swapped out for LTO-8 at your discretion. When you are ready, you will be first in line to receive the latest drives and media.
  • Note that LTO-8 drives with LTO-7 (LTO-7 Type M) media are an excellent first step until LTO-8 media is fully available and cost effective.

LTO-8 Media:
When should I use LTO-7, LTO-7 Type M, or LTO-8 media in my library?

  • LTO-8 drives with LTO-7 Type M media are available now. This combination provides all the value of LTO-7 media at full speed while providing the flexibility to mix and match LTO-8 media.
    • Most customers do not buy an entire year’s worth of media at once, but use the same financial concept of dollar-cost averaging, buying monthly or quarterly since media pricing and technology change frequently, especially near the time of a launch of a new generation.
    • Spectra recommends installing LTO-8 drives as soon as possible.
  • LTO-8 media with 12TB native capacity is the next step to be considered. Moving fully to LTO-8 will depend on a combination of space constraints and overall $/GB costs. If LTO-8 media launches at a significant premium to LTO-7, then it may be most cost effective to stay with LTO-7/LTO-7 Type M media until either an equivalent $/GB is reached or you are pressed for physical space and need to move to a denser media type.
  • LTO-7 Type M media compatibility
    • With LTO-8 drive shipment (expected mid-November), any LTO-8 drive will be able to read and write LTO-7, LTO-7 Type M, or LTO-8 media.

What should I consider when using LTO-7 Type M tapes?

  • Normally the ISV software is responsible for media loading. The ISV software must be able to recognize the LTO-7 Type M option and how to handle it.
  • In the case where there is uncertainty about the ISV, a separate partition with LTO-8 and LTO-7 Type M tapes can be considered – consult Spectra rep for additional information

In part three of the “Demystifying LTO-8” blog series, learn everything you need to know about potential migration options for organizations utilizing past generations of media. You can find other blogs from the series on our corporate blog page, and by following the hashtag #LTO8FAQ on social media.