Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology was developed as an “open format” technology so that users would have multiple sources of product and media.

For more than a decade, LTO technology has proven so effective at preserving and protecting critical business data in the most demanding enterprise environments, while maintaining an affordable and open format, that it has become the de facto tape standard.


The three LTO technology provider companies (HPE, IBM, and Quantum) understood from the beginning that for an open format to succeed they needed to ensure compatibility across any vendor device and media. To meet this need, before any product is granted use of the LTO Ultrium trademark it must pass comprehensive third-party verification tests to ensure compliance with the Ultrium tape format specification. Equally important is the need to ensure compatibility across LTO generations, ensuring existing customers a migration path to the future. Each LTO generation maintains backward read and write capabilities, protecting customers investment in LTO devices and media, and ensuring a growth path to the future


With no signs of slowing, the rapid growth of digital content creation means customers must always keep an eye on the future when deploying new technologies today. It’s critical to know there is a path to meet the future capacity and performance requirements that inevitably come; whether through known organic growth, surprise acquisitions or new corporate initiatives. LTO has proven capable of meeting these demands by delivering eight generations of capacity and performance growth, with another four generations defined for the future.