OWC Mercury Pro LTO – Archival and Restore System Launched

August 26th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 3
OWC Mercury Pro LTO - Archival and Restore System Launched

OWC has announced its Mercury Pro LTO archival and restore system. This new desktop-based hardware is being bundled with the ArGest® backup software for free. ArGest® gives you drag and drop asset management for a tape-based data medium with full LTFS (Linear Tape File System).

OWC claims that ArGest® is the fastest backup and archival software available with data transfer speeds of 300 MB/s to LTO-7 and LTO-8 tapes. After transfer your archives are fully verified and restorable with the maximum amount of data on nearly any OS.

OWC also claim that ArGest® Backup is the only backup and archiving tool that can recover from errors. It will restore as much data as possible even in the event of a lost or damaged tape.

ArGest® archive and backup are now bundled with the Mercury Pro system (credit: OWC)

Why LTO tape is still the best archival medium

Monitoring and evaluation professionals, corporations, government branches, and small businesses face the same challenge: managing an ever-increasing amount of complex data. LTO tape has been the archival medium of choice since the early 2000s mainly because of its cheap cost. Spectra Logic’s Digital Data Storage Report comments that currently LTO media costs are a bit over $5/TB or about $0.5 cents per GB, considerably less than HDD storage.

But the total cost of tape storage must include the costs of the tape drives, tape library and robotics. The Spectra Logic report says that magnetic tape storage is still under $10/TB, while HDD storage is somewhat under $25/TB.  Optical disc storage is estimated at about $50/TB cost.

Organizational content is projected to grow 50-70% annually as more data is digitalized and licensing regulatory compliance requirements are to become more stringent. Apparently, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on this projection.

LTO is also an open standard with many support manufacturers and vendors so users can be confident of accessing their data with any brand of LTO hardware for decades to come.

The main page for the ArGest® asset management system (credit: OWC)

Mercury Pro features

The Mercury Pro LTO is currently available with LTO-7 or LTO-8 drives with native capacities of 2.5TB and 6TB (LTO-7), 6TB, 9TB, and 12TB (LTO-8), and is designed to support the future release of LTO-9 drives later this year.

The leading features of OWC’s new archival and restore system are:

  • The LTO-7 drive will read LTO-7, and read and write LTO-6 and LTO-7 tapes while the LTO-8 Drive reads and writes LTO-8, LTO-M8, and LTO-7 tapes.
  • 30-year or greater tape longevity.
  • Lowest cost storage format; as low as $0.02/GB and up to 50x less costly than online storage.
  • Full LTFS Support: archive files/folders with drag and drop.
  • Supports WORM cartridges required by legal/regulatory record keeping.
  • Second Thunderbolt 3 port for adding up to five additional Thunderbolt devices or your choice of a USB-C or DisplayPort device.
  • DisplayPort 1.4 supports up to an 8K display.

The OWC Mercury Pro LTO is available to order for $4,599 and now includes ArGest® Backup, LTO-8 tape, and a cleaning cartridge.

While archival and restore are relatively dry subjects bear in mind a 2018 IDC report by Segate Technology that predicted the global data sphere will grow to 175 zettabytes (ZB) of digital data by 2025. One Zettabyte is one trillion gigabytes.

Guys, what do you think? Are you considering the new OWC Mercury Pro LTO for Backup? Let us know what is your preferred current backup solution in the comments below!


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