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What are LTO block and segment sizes?

Occasional Contributor

What are LTO block and segment sizes?

Can someone please explain what "block sizes" and "segment sizes" on LTO Ultrium 5 mean?  How do these work, how can they be selected, what should they be based on, and what are the ramifications of them?  Do they have to be set globally when the tape is formatted or can they be changed on-the-fly with every access?


What if my backups include lots of small files -- does that mean I should have a small "block size" and "segment size"?  If they are set incorrectly then does that mean a lot of space on the tape will be wasted, and/or the drive performance will be poor, and/or the lives of the drive and tape will be reduced?  Do they have to be set to certain values to be compatibile on both Windows and Linux operating systems?


In addition, do any documentation or specifications exist about blocks and segment sizes?


I am looking to get a user-level understanding of this because it looks like it may be important to using LTO tapes and drives.


Thank you