LTO brand

I plan to buy an LTO . I need the following answers:
a) difference between lto1 , lto3. and other lto numbers.... I am not aware of the various levels availiable.
b) which is a reliable brand to buy ? hp or tandberg or quantum. ( is tandberg a reliable company as they have come out with an lto 1 which is very competitvely priced in India. Its an LTO 1 and is costing around us $ 1500, has a capacity of approx 100/200 gb) . I have also learnt about a compnay called exabyte which has a product vxa-172 which is cheaper and upgradable . any comparisons ?
c) how important is the capacity of a single tape ? Is a drive which stores more in a single tape always better or does this depend on the budget / amount of data ?
d) currently we have to backup around 72 gb of data which increases at a rate of 20 mb per day. Will a 100/200 gb drive prove to be a good investment ? considering the high costs of drives we want to invest so that we do not have to buy another in the next 3 to 4 years

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Basically, LTO-3 is twice the capacity and transfers data at twice the speed of LTO-2, and LTO-2 is twice the capacity and transfers data at twice the speed of LTO-1. has a comparison of the different LTO types. The table only shows compressed capacity. Native (uncompressed) capacity is half the compressed capacity.

My only experience with LTO has been with HP drives. No complaints at all about them. :)

LTO is an open industry standard, whereas VXA is proprietary, like AIT. The end result is LTO tapes and drives are available from multiple manufacturers, which increases competition, so they're cheaper to buy (for the same capacity) than proprietary types like VXA and AIT.

The capacity of a single tape is very important. You want to be able to backup all of your data to a single tape. For my money,  prefer to have a single large capacity drive that backs up to a single tape, than an autoloader that backs up to multiple tapes. Alternatively, two smaller drives can be good - at least when one drive fails you have the other to use, and you can perform a restore on one while the other is doing a backup.

From what you've said, your data is increasing by about 7GB per year, so in 4 years you'll have another 28GB to backup, for a total of 100GB. An LTO-1 (100GB native capacity) will handle this easily, but you might want to consider an LTO-2 to give yourself plenty of headroom and faster backup and restore.

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