SNIA Linear Tape File System Format Specification Now an ISO/IEC Standard

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ISO/IEC reinforces confidence in file management system for Linear Tape-Open technology

SILICON VALLEY, CA. and COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (June 8, 2016) The Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium, and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced today that the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Format Specification is now an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard (ISO/IEC 20919:2016).

As the world's data continues to grow at an increasing pace, and the need for affordable, large-scale storage becomes more important, LTFS is a technology that will make the use of tape for long-term, affordable storage easier and more attractive. Introduced in 2010, LTFS v2.2 allows for file system implementations using tape. It is a standard for data interchange, which enables user-friendly access to tape data using familiar tools and interfaces. It provides cross-platform and cross-vendor interoperability for tape, and makes viewing and accessing tape files easier than ever.

“Now, everyone using tape technology with LTFS can have the additional confidence of formal recognition from ISO and IEC," noted Terry Cochran, of the LTO Consortium, “The importance of this standard lies in the fact that it provides additional credibility to the technology. Consumers can now purchase and use LTFS knowing that it’s one of the most reliable storage technologies available.”

David Dale, Chair of the SNIA added, “We’re very pleased that LTFS has been recognized by ISO and IEC as an international standard.  By working closely with the LTO Consortium, we’ve been able to bring the industry together to establish an important standard that will help improve the access, flexibility and efficiency of working with tape files, which are critical to thousands of organizations around the world.”

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that brings together experts to develop market relevant International Standards. ISO has over 21,000 standards touching almost all industries and aspects of consumers’ daily lives. These standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality.

With ISO/IEC’s standard verification, LTFS will continue to strengthen and grow the role of tape into new industries and applications where customers want the best features of tape technology as well as the direct access benefits provided by disk. LTFS is important in a wide variety of industries including media & entertainment, for large file movement when bandwidth is constrained. With these advanced workflow benefits, companies can enjoy a simplified system, save time, and lower their overall costs.

About the Linear Tape-Open Consortium
In 1998, technology companies collaborated to develop Linear Tape-Open technology, providing a clear and viable choice in the complex array of tape storage options. Today, a consortium of representatives sets standards and specifications for the popular storage technology, ensuring a well-defined strategy for the future as storage needs continue to evolve. For additional information on LTO technology, visit the LTO Consortium website at

The LTFS technical working group collaborates with other industry associations, such as the LTO Consortium, to help educate and promote the value of LTFS.  SNIA focuses its technical efforts on the development of an architecture that is related to the non-platform specific, on-media format for LTFS. It also produces a comprehensive set of specifications ensuring a consistency of interface standards across LTFS related efforts. LTFS provides an industry standard format for recording data on modern magnetic tape. For more information, visit

About the SNIA
The Storage Networking Industry Association is a not–for–profit global organization, made up of member companies spanning the global storage market. SNIA’s mission is to lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies, and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information. To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education, and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For more information, visit