LTFS – Linear Tape File System for archiving and data interchange
Linear Tape File System (LTFS) turns an LTO-5/6/ or LTO-8 tape in to a self describing file system. You can create folders and partitions on the tape without the need of external software and access the files as if you inserted a USB key and with the operating system’s graphical file manager, reading data on a tape cartridge is as easy as drag and drop.
The metadata of each cartridge, once mounted, is cached in server memory. Metadata operations, such as browse directory and filename search, do not require tape movement.
LTFS is a significant step in moving tape storage away from its reputation as complex and difficult to use. Unlike disk storage, tape has required device-specific software to read, write and manage data stored on its cartridges in libraries. Even with tape management software, file access was not intuitive, as it required users to know which cartridge volume contained the files they needed. Further, because operating systems were not typically shipped with built-in tape library support, standard OS disk interfaces did not enable direct reading and writing to tape cartridges stored in tape libraries and each tape could only be read by the same backup software which wrote it.
LTFS was originally developed by IBM to provide an easy way to archive data to tape without the requirement of 3rd party software. The current Linear Tape File System supports all LTO-5 drives which have 1Gb Ethernet port and will subsequently be available on LTO-8.
Designed to store files sequentially LTFS is ideal for storing all digital data and works very well with video footage which creates a huge amount of data when editing 2k, 4k or 3D video files. The ability to take an LTFS tape and move it from various OS platforms guarantees data interchange when sending data to and from clients.
Backup vs Archiving
Backup – A backup is designed to restore recently deleted files, recover systems from software, hardware failure or malicious attack. A backup is taken daily, weekly, monthly and the backup data is overwritten after “x”.
Archiving – An archive is a way to move important critical information from tier 1 storage that must be retained for a number of years for government, corporate, legislative or legal reasons. Companies daily perform backups but few archive. A simple fact is 80% of all data becomes inactive after 1 year. By moving data to an archive you free up valuable disk space, decrease backup windows, perform faster restores and save money.
I have written a White paper on Backup Less Archive More that explains in detail the savings that can be made by deploying an archive.
In addition to the above I have written a White paper about the issues surrounding Archiving Data to The Cloud.
LTFS tape drives or complete LTFS tape library solutions, please call us on 0207 193 5760 and we will be happy to assist.