What is LTO-9


The latest generation of LTO-9 Full Height tape drives provide even higher capacity and performance than previous generations, and Symply are the first company to offer the drive technology in a variety of form factors including Thunderbolt™️ 3  and SAS connectivity, in desktop and rack-mounted configurations. LTO-9 offers a native capacity of up to 18TB and up to 45TB compressed (assuming 2:5:1 compression). The Full-Height drive boasts an uncompressed data transfer rate of up to 400MBps, 100MBps or 11% faster than the LTO-8 Half-Height drives. The Full-Height drives also have advantages over their Half-Height counter parts, supporting much higher load and unload cycles as well as fast seek times. The new LTO-9 tape drive technology is designed to optimize tape performance with the introduction of Open Recommended Access Order (oRAO), this means the Full-Height LTO 9 Tape drives can obtain data up to 73% faster.*  LTO-9 is fully compatible with Linear Tape File System (LTFS), and the LTO-9 drive mechanisms can read and write to the previous generation LTO-8 cartridges.


* Based on IBM internal testing of like User Data Sets, not all users will see these levels of performance improvements as optimization varies according to the number of segments retrieved


What products does Symply have with LTO-9 Full Height Drives?

  • SymplyLTO XTF Desktop SAS
  • SymplyPRO XTF Desktop Thunderbolt 3
  • SymplyLTO 2U Rackmount SAS
  • SymplyPRO 2U Rackmount Thunderbolt 3


What formats are the LTO-9 Drives available in?

Currently LTO-9 drives are only available in a Full-Height format.


What is Media optimization?

LTO-9 media optimization is a new feature for the LTO-9 tape drive with LTO-9 media. The increased number of tracks used to write data on tape requires greater precision. Media optimization creates a referenced calibration for each cartridge that enables the tape drive’s intelligent alignment to optimize data placement. LTO-9 media optimization enhances LTO tape long-term media durability.


Optimization facts….

  • Media optimization will be performed on first load of LTO-9 media during initialization.
  • Media optimization is a one-time operation that can be completed on any drive in the environment, enabling the media to be used across all tape drives without further optimization. 
  • Media optimization averages 40 minutes per first load of a cartridge to a tape drive. Although most media optimizations will complete within 60 minutes some media optimizations may take up to 2 hours.
  • The differing amount time taken for the one-time optimization to complete has no impact on the performance or functionality of the data cartridge.
  • Interruption of the media optimization process is not recommended.
  • All LTO-9 media supplied by Symply with our LTO-9 product is pre-optimised to save you time.
  • Symply offer LTO-9 media for purchase via our network of resellers, this is available with or without pre-optimisation performed.


If you have any questions please submit a [support ticket]