OWC introduced the Mercury Pro LTO that should provide a cost-effective and easy-to-use archiving to 12TB LTO-8 tapes. The device offers an option to mount an additional HDD or SSD, write speeds of up to 360MB/s (900MB/s compressed), Thunderbolt 3 connectors, and a relatively compact housing. It is available now from $4,499.
Most filmmakers who have been in the business for some time have had to deal with archiving older projects. The problem with our industry is that the amount of data can get massive with higher resolutions and bitrates.
LTO tapes have been around for a while and when it comes to long-term storage, with the estimated tape longevity of 30 years, they represent one of the best solutions. OWC recently introduced a Mercury Pro LTO – let’s take a short look at its features and specs.
OWC Mercury Pro LTO
LTO technology was first introduced in 2000. Since then, there have been numerous generations of LTO tapes and the capacity per tape has been growing with each generation. The Mercury Pro LTO includes the IBM-LTO-8 Ultrium Drive that can read the latest LTO-8 tapes with 12TB (or 30TB compressed) storage capacity, but it can also handle the previous generation 6TB LTO-7 tapes and should even be able to use future release LTO-9 drives as well.
The advantage of using Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tapes formatted with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is that the tape can be accessed on the computer just like a hard drive or SSD. Files appear in folders and moving them to and retrieving them from tape is easy. The Mercury Pro LTO includes a myLTO app that can mount, format, and backup to an LTO tape and hard drive simultaneously.
According to OWC, the LTO platform provides the lowest cost storage format – as low as $0.02/GB and significantly less than online storage (when it comes to high volumes of data). The Mercury Pro LTO supports AES 256-bit encryption and WORM cartridges required by legal/regulatory record keeping. It features up to 360MB/s native (up to 900MB/s compressed) transfer rates.
The Mercury Pro LTO device has a compact form factor with built-in handles and a configurable drive bay. Users can add an optional 2.5/3.5-inch HDD or SSD for up to 16TB “staging” capacity.
In terms of connectivity, there are two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports (15W and 85W) and a DisplayPort 1.4 for connecting a display, as well as an RJ-45 LAN service port. The 85W USB-C port can also charge compatible devices.
Price and Availability
The Mercury Pro LTO is available to order now for $4,499 and includes the myLTO software, one 12TB LTO-8 tape, a Thunderbolt cable and a cleaning cartridge. Additional solutions for up to 16TB are also available. The prices of LTO-8 tapes start at around $120.
Do you archive your data to LTO tapes? What is your go-to workflow for that? Let us know in the comment section underneath the article.