Linear Tape Open is a data storage system that which is comprised by a magnetic tape. LTO has been used as a data storage unit for the past fifty years, but it was only relatively recently, within the 1980s that Linear Tape Open was put into a single reel, enclosed cartridge.
Although both IBM and DEC were both involved in the progression to LTO into a single reel, enclosed cartridge, it was later sold to Quantum. This form of data storage was the optimum choice for those wishing to store high capacity, high speed tape storage for both the PC and UNIX systems.
Linear Tape Open was initially designed to in two form factors. These are Ultrium and Accelis.
For super fast access, the Accelis is the perfect form for LTO. It allows fast access to data through its two reel cartridge. The tape itself is only 8mm wide which aids speed and reduces the time it takes to access the data. This was initially thought of through IBM. Their Megstar MP product was the first of its kind to pioneer this. Unfortunately, this style of LTO was short lived and never commercially produced.
Linear Tape Open Ultrium and was designed as a replacement for DLT and has a very similar format both with a half inch wide tape and a single reel cartridge. This was perfect for those who used DLTs to convert to LTO without any major dramas or issues. DLTs were popular in libraries.
An Ultrium drive is designed to have two main functions; to read data from its card and to write data. The Ultrium will read data from different generations and it will also write data to a cartridge from the immediate generation and prior generation formats.
One of the main problems that this technology can face is to do with its Leader Pin. The leader pin holds the cartridge in place. When a cartridge is not in a drive, the pin is kept in place with the help of a small spring. When the cartridge is being used, the pin allows the reader to get a great and reliable grasp on the tape, meaning you can access your data.
The problem in this arises when the pin falls out of place, this is usually an issue when the cartridge has been dropped or damaged. This usually results in the cartridge being unable to load. Another reason why the cartridge may not load is due to the plastic casing which the Linear Tape Open has deformed and can no longer hold the pin securely. There have been some different alterations, and there have been some LTOs that do not use leader pins in an attempt to solve this issue. Punching a hole through the casing is one solution that DLTs took, this enables the drive to grasp the end of the tape without the use of the leader pin.