5 Reasons to choose LTO-9 tape over LTO-8 tape

What are the differences between the two tape formats?

LTO-9 (Linear Tape-Open 9) and LTO-8 (Linear Tape-Open 8) are both generations of magnetic tape storage technology designed for data backup and archiving purposes. These tape formats have evolved over time, offering improved storage capacity, data transfer rates, and advanced features. In this article, we will explore the key differences between LTO-9 and LTO-8 tapes.

5 reasons to choose lto-9 tape over lto-8 tape

5 Reason to Choose

  1. Storage Capacity - One of the most significant differences between LTO-9 and LTO-8 is the storage capacity. LTO-9 tapes have a native storage capacity of up to 18 terabytes (TB) and a compressed capacity of up to 45 TB. On the other hand, LTO-8 tapes offer a native capacity of up to 12 TB and a compressed capacity of up to 30 TB. This represents a substantial increase in storage capacity for LTO-9, making it more suitable for handling ever-growing data storage demands.
  2. Data Transfer Rates - LTO tape technology's performance is not just about storage capacity but also data transfer rates. LTO-9 features improved data transfer rates compared to LTO-8. LTO-9 can achieve native data transfer rates of up to 400 megabytes per second (MB/s) and up to 1,000 MB/s with compression. In contrast, LTO-8 has native transfer rates of up to 360 MB/s and compressed rates of up to 900 MB/s. The higher data transfer rates of LTO-9 enable faster backups and restores, reducing the time required to move large volumes of data.
  3. Compression Ratio - The compression algorithms used in LTO tapes play a vital role in increasing effective storage capacity. LTO-9 and LTO-8 both use the same compression standard of 2:6:1.
  4. Encryption - Data security is a crucial aspect of tape storage. Both LTO-9 and LTO-8 support data encryption, allowing users to protect sensitive information during storage and transportation. However, LTO-9 introduces enhanced encryption capabilities, making it more secure and better suited for complying with modern data protection regulations.
  5. Compatibility - One essential consideration when upgrading tape technology is backward compatibility. LTO-9 drives are typically backward compatible with LTO-8 tapes, allowing organisations to read data from LTO-8 tapes using an LTO-9 drive or write tapes.  The LTO-9 drive can read and write 1 previous generation of tape, whereas LTO-8 could read/write the 2 previous generations of tape.


LTO-9 brings several notable improvements over LTO-8, including increased storage capacity, faster data transfer rates, improved encryption capabilities. These advancements make LTO-9 an attractive option for organisations with large-scale data backup and archiving needs, providing better performance, enhanced data security, and future compatibility. However, organisations should consider their specific requirements and existing infrastructure before transitioning to the new tape generation.