Thunderbolt3 interface on LTO drives for Media Professionals

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes


Conventional tape solutions have either SAS or FC connectivity and that keeps the Media companies from using them. Thunderbolt3 is The interface that the media companies are most familiar with, and the devices are Thunderbolt3 enabled. An Atto + Quantum Solution enables a thunderbolt3 connected Tape drive

The Problem :

Long-term Archival of content at a low cost is possible with LTO tapes. However, the native SAS connectivity of Tape drives keep media companies from using them

The Solution:

A Quantum LTO-8 Native SAS drive with ATTO Thunderbolt™ Technology-enabled Thunderlink Adapter

Details :

ATTO's Thunderbolt Technology-enabled ThunderLink®™ Adapters bring high throughput (40 Gb/s) and versatility to creative professionals who need access to external storage and networks for I/O demanding applications, including 8K/4K Ultra High-definition video workflows. They also provide access to LTO tape storage devices for data migration between field and studio. With ThunderLink® adapters, a single Thunderbolt cable can provide connectivity to 40Gb Ethernet, 32Gb Fibre Channel, 12Gb SAS, USB and DisplayPort, as well as extend connections to other Thunderbolt Technology-enabled devices. ATTO's Advanced Data Streaming Technology (ADS™) provides for controlled latency and acceleration of data designed to deliver multiple streams of video concurrently without dropping frames.

LTO tape storage is the ideal solution for long-term data retention and archiving, with its high storage capacity, blazing-fast transfer rates, easy-to-use functionality, steadfast reliability and cost-effectiveness. Quantum's LTO-8 tape drive offers a compressed capacity of up to 30 TB per cartridge, high durability, support for WORM (Write Once Read Many), LTFS (in standalone drives only), and backward compatibility with LTO-7 tape media.

Together Quantum LTO-8 tape drive and ATTO Thunderlink provide a cost effective, robust and high capacity solution for media and entertainment industry.


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Tape Media Labelling

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes

Any LTO tape, Cleaner and Diagnostic media that is used with an autoloader or a library will have an LTO Label for identification of the tape. After identification , the tape is loaded and unloaded from the slots to tape drive for read/write.

These LTO labels have human and machine readable parts for automation . Standalone drives in contrast don't have barcode readers and robotics , and the labels are not required.

An LTO label will have 2 parts

  • A volume serial (VOLSER) number which is Human Readable ( length of 6 alphanumeric )
  • A bar code for library to read ( VOLSER in barcode + LTO generation identifier)

At minimum you will need to provide the following information to us, to generate a label for you.

Anatomy of an LTO bar code label

1. VOLSER ( serial number that you need )
Typically the first 3 places are taken by Alphabets, followed by numbers. In this case your maximum number of labels is 1,000 ( ABC000 to ABC999). Examples are PUR001, AUH234, XYZ345.

2. Tape Media Generation.
The last 2 digits of the Machine readable part are media identifier and must be correctly printed to correspond to your media type. The table below shows the media identifier for each kind of media and this can't be changed, its fixed for the generation - one code per Generation as follows

Media Identifier
LTO-1 L1
LTO-2 L2
LTO-3 L3
LTO-4 L4
LTO-5 L5
LTO-6 L6
LTO-7 L7
LTO-7 Type M M8
LTO-8 L8
LTO Cleaning CU

In addition to this, the following can also be customized

  • Color Palette :Colors can be customized as Standard colors , or colors based on position or colors based on content.

  • Barcode Orientation :Can be customized to be on top, bottom or rotated.

Ways to obtain Barcoded media

  • Quantum and HPE both provide factory barcoded LTO tapes. This is one of the ways to obtain pre-labelled tapes that comes directly from Vendor. Most of the times, these tapes are taken without any specific serial number and the vendor ships a random serial number. They can be customized on demand too, the lead time is longer by 5 days if customized series is ordered.

  • HPE barcode label pack is a pack of 100 data + 10 cleaning tapes and can be sticked to your tape media. Each pack has a unique never previously repeated sequence. They can't be customized.

  • Get On Demand LTO Labels in the series you need from us. We are a Tri-optics partner for middle east , the same people who make labels for HP, IBM and QUANTUM. We provide customized high quality Tri optics labels on the same day of order.

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Degausser Media Compatibility - What can be degaussed

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes
If you have a mix of media, e.g. hard drives, tape media and flash, SSD, there is no SINGLE device that can sanitize all of them. The reason is that a degausser can only wipe out magnetic media and has no effect on flash based media like SSDs.

On the other hand, a physical degausser can destroy both SSDs and HDDs, but not tapes.

The matrix below shows what type of media each device (degausser, physical destroyer and rewriting data wiper) can sanitize
Hard Disk Drives- All kinds
( 2.5", 3.5", SATA, SAS)

Tapes - All Kinds
( DAT, DLT, LTO...)

Solid State Media
( Flash Drives, SSD)
Degausser Can Sanitize* Can Sanitize * -
Physical Destroyer Can Sanitize * - Can Sanitize *
Data Destroyer
( Rewriter)
Can Sanitize # Can Sanitize #


* After degausser, the media becomes unusable. You cannot reuse the media.
# The rewriter needs the media in a working condition. How it works is that you connect the media to the rewriter and it writes a few passes of random data. The media can be reused after such a cleanup.

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What is pre-calibrated LTO-9 Media, and why SIs and Vendors need to make it available

Akash jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

LTO-9 media needs calibration on the first use which can be anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours, and this presents an opportunity to sell Pre-calibrated media.

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LTO-9 May Finally hit the market by September 2021

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LTO-9 with 18TB Native capacity will put the tape on the same league as Hard drives in terms of capacity, and it looks like it may hit the market next month.

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On Premise Fireproof and Waterproof safe as an alternative to media rotation

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An onsite safe offers many benefits and it may be worth considering instead of opting for an offsite media rotation plan.

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LTO-9 Prepurchase program on Quantum Tape Libraries

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Quantum's LTO-9 Pre Purchase program offers you LTO-9 drives exchanged for your LTO-8 drives at a nominal uplift fee.

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LTO Ultrium Tapes - Library Pack, Retail pack and TeraPack

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We look at various packings available in LTO Ultrium tape media and how each one is different from the other

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Expiry Dates of LTO Ultrium Tapes

Admin Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes
This article covers the Expiry dates , and the limited lifetime warranty of the LTO ultrium tapes. Since there are no expiry dates mentioned on the carton, this always causes confusion on why there is no expiry , and is there actually a date before which the tapes are good to use ?

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LTO Compressed Vs Native Capacity

Admin Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes
When you see the capacities of LTO ultrium tapes, there is always a pair of Native/Compressed capacity. We see how they are related, what is compression and why you should only consider Native capacity.

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