If you use Tape Library systems and are planning to change your LTO drives, it's important to pay attention to the LTO cartridge compatibility.
LTO drives are designed to work with specific cartridge generations. Typically, an LTO drive can read and write tapes of its own generation and the one immediately before it. It can also read tapes from two generations before. However, there's an exception with LTO-8 drives. Unlike previous generations, LTO-8 drives can only read and write to LTO-7 and LTO-8 tapes, excluding LTO-6. This is a significant change from the standard compatibility pattern seen in earlier generations.
For example, an LTO-7 drive works with LTO-7 and LTO-6 tapes (read and write) and can read LTO-5 tapes. But it won't interact with LTO-4 tapes. Knowing these compatibility details is a key point for planning upgrades and maintaining access to archived data.
Hope this article helped you understand the logic behind the LTO-drive compatibility. If you want to learn more about the future of LTO drives, click here to read our latest article about it.
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