The OWC range has been expanded with the desktop tape drive OWC Mercury Pro LTO. It has a Thunderbolt 3 interface and supports LTO-8 cartridges. One such cartridge can hold 12TB uncompressed or up to 30TB uncompressed. The compatibility built into the LTO allows the use of 6TB LTO-7 cartridges and eventually LTO-9 cartridges.
At a unit cost of storage tape is much more attractive even for hard drives, not to mention SSD, and the shelf life of information declared equal to 30 years. In terms of speed, the tape is recorded at up to 360MB/s (with up to 900MB/s compression).
The drive supports AES encryption with a 256-bit key. WORM cartridges may be used to store legal or regulatory documentation.
A second Thunderbolt 3 port lets you chain the drive into up to six compatible devices. The drive can supply power to the connected laptop. Power consumption can be up to 85 watts. Other features include a DisplayPort 1.4 port and a 3.5-inch drive bay.
The $4,499 set includes myLTO software, LTO-8 cartridge, cleaning cartridge and Thunderbolt cable. There are Price Kits that also include up to 16TB HDD or 4TB SSD. Additional LTO-8 cartridges are available from the OWC store for $125 each.