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HP and IBM Pass Compliance Testing for LTO Ultrium Generation 4 Tape Drives

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HP, IBM, and Quantum, the three technology provider companies for the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) program, have announced that HP and IBM have completed the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 compliance and data interchangeability testing process. With this qualification, HP and IBM will be authorized to display the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 logo on their tape drives.

In adherence to its compliance testing, the LTO Program requires that all licensees pass a series of compliance verification tests, which call for data interchangeability testing before being issued a license and the right to display the LTO Ultrium trademark. Compliance testing of all Ultrium products is completed annually to help ensure that all manufacturers adhere to the LTO Ultrium format specifications. Buyers seeking Ultrium format-compliant products should look for the LTO Ultrium format trademark logo on both tape drives and data cartridges.

"LTO Ultrium generation 4 delivers the features that storage customers require, including 256-Bit encryption for added security of offsite media and higher capacities to support their ever-growing data storage needs. This is another key milestone to have successfully passed the LTO program's compliance verification tests," said Bob Wilson, vice president, Nearline Storage Division, HP.

"The ability to introduce products that fully comply with the LTO Ultrium specification and support data security with tape drive encryption allows our customers to take advantage of the open format flexibility, total cost of ownership and investment protection benefits of LTO generation 4 technology," said Cindy Grossman, vice president, IBM Tape Systems.

The LTO Ultrium format generation 4 specification, announced in January of this year, allows for licensees to deliver a doubling of storage capacity over generation 3, with the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 cartridges storing up to 1.6TB of data compared to 800GB on the previous generation. Transfer rates of the new generation are also improved, with backup and archiving performance reaching speeds up to 240MB per second in generation 4 versus up to 160MB per second in generation 3.

As with generation 3, the LTO Ultrium format generation 4 continues to offer WORM (write-once, read-many) functionality that provides a cost-effective means for storing data in a non-rewriteable format to help address compliance requirements. For additional security, generation 4 supports 256-Bit AES-GCM encryption capabilities at the tape drive level that are designed to enable the writing of encrypted data to the LTO Ultrium tape cartridge, helping to protect the storage and transport of sensitive information.

LTO Ultrium generation 4 also delivers investment protection for business, providing for drives with backwards compatible read and write capability to store and retrieve non-encrypted data with the Ultrium format generation 3 cartridges, and backward read capabilities with generation-2 cartridges.

How to License LTO Ultrium Technology

The LTO Program offers several different license packages from enhanced packages that provide the specifications and licenses to manufacture Ultrium products, to basic packages, providing Ultrium format specifications and guidelines for interchangeability.

Buyers seeking Ultrium format-compliant products should look for the Ultrium format compliance verification trademarks on both tape drives and data cartridges. Storage and media manufacturers interested in licensing LTO technology may obtain information by contacting the LTO Program through Contact Ultrium.

About Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Technology

LTO technology is a powerful, scalable, adaptable open tape format developed and continuously enhanced by technology providers HP, IBM Corp. and Quantum Corp. (and their predecessors) to help address 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.

The LTO Ultrium format has a well-defined roadmap for growth and scalability. The roadmap represents intentions and goals only. There is no guarantee that these goals will be achieved. 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 licensed basis. For additional information on LTO technology, visit Ultrium.

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