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Can I use LTO2 Tapes in an LTO3 Tape Backup

Posted on 2008-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
We currently have an Certance/Quantum LTO2 Full height backup tape drive. it is the 200GB native 400gb Compressed backup drive. We are looking to upgrade to a Quantum LTO3 Drive 400gb/800gb because it is faster. Can we use the lto2 tapes in the lto3 drive and get lto3 backup speeds? or do we need LTO3 Tapes to get the LTO3 Speed.

Thanks in advance,
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Question by:bigdosman
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mmcodefive earned 167 total points
ID: 22788318
Yes you can use LTO-2 tapes in that LTO-3 drive. The speed is dependant on a lot of things but mostly on the tape drive itself not the tapes.
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by:willettmeister
willettmeister earned 167 total points
ID: 22788362
As far as speed goes there aren't many places out there that have a network that can pump data to the drives as fast as LTO3 can handle it.  I haven't been at one and the EMC folks that I have worked with in the past have told me the same thing.  Of all the DC's they support they have only seen 2 or 3 that can support LTO3 speed consistently over several backup jobs.  
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by:TapeDude
TapeDude earned 166 total points
ID: 22789543
Using LTO 2 tapes in an LTO 3 drive causes them to be written (and read) at LTO 2 density. My experience is that they will read/written fractionally faster than on an LTO2 drive - maybe 3 to 5%, depending on the drive, the blocksize, the OS, etc. And the drive - IBM drives are faster than HP, for instance.

As for achieving the maximum speeds capable by an LTO3 writing to LTO3 tapes, the flat answer is no, but - as willettmeister has said - that is largely down to how quickly you can suck data across the network and spit it at the LTO drive - assuming you are backing data up off a network, rather than the host machine. If you're working off a fast local hard disc (or have FC or 1Gb ethernet) you might manage it - you'll need a fast HBA (U320 or FC or SAS) too.
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Expert Comment

by:TapeDude
ID: 22789591
You'll be able to tell if you've been reaching the maximum speeds capable of the LTO 2 by whether it streamed or not - if you heard it repositioning a lot, then either i) the tape was bad, or ii) you couldn't even supply the data fast enough for the LTO 2 drive, let alone an LTO 3.

Having said that, LTO 3 drives are variable speed, so even if you can't supply the data at a throughput fast enough for them to stream at full speed, they'll stream at reduced speed, which is still faster than the LTO 2's start-stop-reverse-stop-start cycle.

Tapes will last longer, too : )
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by:Hedley Phillips
ID: 22794412
I have this compatibility chart tucked away for just this sort of occasion...

(must get out more often)




lto-compatability.gif
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by:TapeDude
ID: 23297641
It would be fairer to willettmeister, Mr-Madcowz and myself if the points were evenly split.
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