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Exabyte LTO libraries with IBM LTO Ultrium 2 tape drives provide twice the capacity and more than double the performance of the previous generation Exabyte LTO libraries, meeting the needs of users whose data storage requirements are quickly outgrowing their current solutions. For those users who have already invested in Exabyte LTO libraries, drives can easily be upgraded in the field to next-generation LTO technology without any additional investment in robotics systems. IBM LTO Ultrium 2 tape drives are backwards read and write compatible with the first generation LTO tape media, helping to protect the media investment users have made in prior tape library applications. Technology enhancements that help optimize data throughput and increase storage capacity in the IBM LTO Ultrium 2 tape drive include digital speed matching, enabling the drive to adjust its native data rate to closely match the host data rate; a larger 64MB buffer to mask the impact of data rate fluctuations; and an enhanced data compression scheme resulting in increased storage capacity. Enhanced servo positioning and an improved head design provide improved data protection.