Linear Tape-Open

Picture: LTO-2 cartridge

Linear Tape-Open (LTO) is a magnetic tape data storage technology originally developed in the late 1990s as an open standards alternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats that were available at the time. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Quantum control the LTO Consortium, which directs development and manages licensing and certification of media and mechanism manufacturers.

The standard form-factor of LTO technology goes by the name Ultrium, the original version of which was released in 2000 and can hold 100 GB of data in a cartridge. The sixth generation of LTO Ultrium was released in 2012 and can hold 2.5 TB in a cartridge of the same size.

Upon introduction, LTO Ultrium rapidly defined the super tape market segment and has consistently been the best-selling super tape format.[1][2] LTO is widely used with small and large computer systems, especially for backup.