LTO may be slower than hard disks and SSDs but, as Phil Rhodes has repeatedly said on RedShark News, the online publication for filmmakers and video creators that I too have been writing for the past six or seven years, it’s still the backup medium of choice for a lot of companies and people (See: https://www.redsharknews.com/post-vfx/item/2440-why-lto-storage-is-so-good-for-archiving-video and https://www.redsharknews.com/technology-computing/item/3549-what-is-the-road-ahead-for-film-archiving). As it happens, OWC just announced the availability of the Mercury Pro LTO.
OWC says the transportable Mercury Pro LTO provides sound performance and data integrity, and uses Type-C Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the speeds of which are certain to surpass tape’s read/write speeds. It has a configurable drive bay for an optional 2.5 or 3.5 inch hard disk or SSD for up to 16TB staging capacity. As so often these days, the unit is equipped with additional I/O ports so you don’t lose any connectivity. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting an 8K display and can charge an 85W notebook while working. It comes with an LTO-8 12TB data tape, a cleaning cartridge and a Thunderbolt cable. A 5-year OWC Limited Warranty with lifetime US-based support is included.
Using Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tapes formatted with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), the OWC Mercury Pro LTO tape drive enables users to access tapes on the computer just like a hard drive or SSD. Files appear in folders and moving them to and retrieving them from tape is a matter of drag and drop. LTFS, LTO tapes can be read from a Mac, PC, or Linux system, so there’s no extra software to buy or proprietary hardware concerns.
Because LTFS is an open, cross-platform system, and LTO tape is the dominant archiving medium that has continued to advance since being introduced in 2000, OWC is confident you’ll access your data with any brand of LTO hardware for decades to come.
The Mercury Pro LTO uses the latest 12TB LTO-8 tapes, the previous generation 6TB LTO-7 tapes, and has been designed to use future release LTO-9 drives. The built-in IBM-LTO-8 Ultrium Drive reads and writes LTO-8 and LTO-7 tapes for a cost as low as $0.02/GB and up to 50x less costly than online storage, according to the company.
The included myLTO app from Imagine Products offers a simple interface to mount, format, and backup to an LTO tape and hard drive simultaneously. It uses checksum technology for guaranteed accuracy throughout the copy process, while securing the data with AES 256-bit encryption if required. The app has powerful archive options like queuing multiple copies with copy verification notification and the option to create customised reports with thumbnails and metadata to locate files after archival quickly. It also supports WORM cartridges, which is especially important for businesses that can be required to store data for legal/regulatory record keeping.
The Mercury Pro LTO can be ordered now from MacSales.com for $4,499 but was not yet to be found on the MacSales.eu website.