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HPE LTO Tape Storage and Media - Native vs Compressed Cartridge Capacity Expectations

Capacity background

Capacity is a constant cause confusion. Mostly this is because of how data compression works and how it is advertised.

When talking about capacity, typically two figures are quoted: native and compressed.

Native capacity is the "real" capacity of the tape or how much the tape can hold without doing any compression. Native capacity is the capacity you should expect to get when not using any compression and is the minimum that should be expected if using data compression. The quoted compressed capacity is the native capacity multiplied by 2. It assumes a 2:1 (2 to 1) compression ratio (twice as much information in the same space).

The important thing to remember is that there is absolutely no guarantee that the compression ratio will be 2:1, it could just as easily be 3:1 or 1.1 to 1. The compression ratio has very little to do with the drive and everything to do with the data the drive is backing up. The 2:1 standard is a rounded to the nearest whole number figure based on "average" data. Since every computer has different data on it, there is no guarantee that a 2:1 data compression is achievable on every machine.

LTO Formats
Raw Capacity (TB)
Compressed Capacity (TB)
Raw Throughput MB/sec
Compressed Throughput MB/sec
LTO 1
100GB
200GB
40
80
LTO 2
200GB
400GB
40
80
LTO 3
400GB
800GB
80
160
LTO 4
800GB
1.6
120
240
LTO 5
1.5
3
140
280
LTO-6
2.5
6.25
160
525
LTO-7
6.4
16
315
788
LTO-8
12.8
32
427
1180
LTO-9
26.08
65.2
708
1770
LTO-10
48
120
1100
2750
LTO 11
96
240
TBA
TBA
LTO 12
192
480
TBA
TBA
NOTE: TBA - To Be Announced

HPE LTO Generations

Legal Disclaimer: Products sold prior to the November 1, 2015 separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc. may have older product names and model numbers that differ from current models.

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Document title: HP Tape Storage and Media - Native vs Compressed Cartridge Capacity Expectations
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