Automated Tape Libraries(ATL) are automated tape libraries that are controlled fully automatically using robotic tape cartridge handlers. Also known as ATL silos, the arrays serve as tertiary storage for archiving and long-term preservation.
An automated tape library can be a system that can control up to several thousand magnetic tape cassettes or cartridges via robots. The tape cartridges are located in compartments from which they are picked up by the robot, inserted into a magnetic tape drive and accessed by the server.
ATL systems manage the filing and insertion of tape cartridges. The system maintains a database of tape information, including tape status and physical location in the library. It does not manage the records stored on the magnetic tape cartridges.
The storage capacities achievable with this technology for such an ATL system are calculated from the number of manageable cartridges and their storage capacities. Storage capacities of several hundred terabytes were already achieved with this technology in the 2000s. For optimum utilization of the magnetic tapes, tape stacking is recommended, in which the storage capacity of the magnetic tapes is used up to almost 100%.