LTO-9 media Optimization (some times referred to as Characterization) 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 what are the facts….

  • Media optimization will be performed on first load of LTO-9 media.
  • 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. 
  • The previous version of LTFS from IBM (required for LTO-9 compatibility), an LTFS format command will trigger optimization to occur of the media as part if the format process, even if the media has already been optimized.
  • The latest version of IBM LTFS 2.4.5 (released 30th June 2022) has improved the mkltfs command that improves the format/unformat time on LTO-9 (or later) drive. If is recommend that customers using LTO-9 drives upgrade to LTFS 2.4.5.
  • 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, or a little as 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Symply now provides pre-LTFS formatted and labelled LTO-9 data cartridges included in our product, and as an option for additional media ordered in packs of 5.   Our barcodes match the LTFS volume name and start SYxxxx.  Custom barcode labels and LTFS format names are available in MOQs of 5 cartridges.
  • Symply offer LTO-9 media for purchase via our network of resellers, this is available with or without pre-optimisation performed.