HP, IBM, Seagate Complete Ultrium Verification

HP, IBM, and Seagate have completed Ultrium compliance verification testing for their Ultrium tape products. Ultrium is one of two formats based on the LTO (Linear Tape-Open) technology developed by the three companies.

LTO technology is an open magnetic tape architecture designed not only to outlive current tape technologies but also to deliver very high performance and widespread availability of data storage at a cost lower than that of today's tape technologies. HP, IBM, and Seagate have been touting LTO as the technology for fourth-generation tape storage products--a replacement for traditional Digital Linear Tape (DLT) technology. LTO is offered in two formats: Accelis and Ultrium. The Accelis format uses a dual-hub, cassette-style cartridge with a midpoint load very similar to Magstar MP. The Ultrium format uses a single hub and a wider tape like regular Magstar The first Ultrium products are expected to offer capacities of up to 200 GB (100 GB native) and data transfer rates of up to 40 MB/sec (20 MB/sec native), assuming a 2:1 compression.

The process undertaken for compliance verification is the first independently administered and executed process for a tape storage device. It involves stringent data interchange tests to assure data integrity and interchangeability for Ultrium format trademarked products. Completion of compliance verification testing gives HP, IBM, and Seagate the right to use the Ultrium format compliance trademark on their drives, an important step in attracting buyers interested in the technology.

HP has been swinging hard in the storage area, unveiling a range of products and solutions over the last several months. With the Ultrium compliance verification testing complete, HP is poised to introduce fourth-generation tape storage products, the first of which are expected to be Ultrium format compatible drives.