This superfast USB tape drive could make cloud backup a thing of the past for you

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Japanese tape drive vendor Unitex has unveiled the first LTO-9 tape drive with a USB connection.

The aptly named UNITEX USB LTO-9 drive offers 18TB of native capacity on a single tape, with transfer rates of up to 300MBps, which is more than any other cloud backup or cloud storage The service can be reached at any time. The inclusion of a USB port means that it has almost universal compatibility, regardless of the Type-A 3.0 model, either by default or by using the appropriate converters.


The device is the follow-up to the LT80H, an LTO-8 USB tabletop drive, and is likely to be sold at a significant premium; The LT80H is priced at $5,100 and the LTO version will likely go all the way up to $6,000. On the other hand, LTO-9 tapes are reasonably priced under $170, which is roughly half as much. 18TB Hard Disk Drive Cost.

A Unitex spokesperson confirmed that the pricing is yet to be finalised. Interestingly, he also mentioned the company’s tape-backup-as-a-service offering, which is already present in Japan. “We are currently studying to expand the service to global customers,” the spokesperson said.

A Powerful Cloud Storage Option

Hardware-as-a-service is picking up steam in the creative industry, which generates massive amounts of data, much of which needs to be backed up. For example, US-based OWC (a rival to Unitex) has introduced a plan called Fast Forward that allows users to rent hardware for a fixed monthly fee.

Backing up tapes is one or more orders of magnitude faster than uploading to the cloud, especially for smaller organizations that don’t have the setup to keep terabytes of data in a secure location. Backing up 18TB of data over USB will take about 17 hours, but will take much longer broadband, Plus tape provides a physical air gap that minimizes exposure ransomware attack.

So the ability to rent an LTO-9 tape drive for a short amount of time each month cannot be overlooked. As a medium, tape is more flexible, easier to store, takes up less space than hard drives and has less environmental impact per TB of back up, making it a useful component of any 3-2-1 backup strategy. becomes.

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