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LTFS - Revolutionizing Tiered Storage!

LTFS – Unlocking the Power of Tape!

What’s LTFS?

LTFS (Linear Tape File System) is a self-describing tape format that defines the organization of data and metadata on an LTO-6 or LTO-5 tape. Data written in the LTFS format can be directly accessed from the tape – independent of a storage system or external database.

And for the rest of us that aren’t tape library engineers…

LTFS allows you to read an LTO-6 or LTO-5 tape just like a a disk. That’s right – the LTO tape that you once used only for backup can NOW become an incredibly cost-effective way to scale the capacity of your storage network.

Think of it – you would have the ability to increase your capacity at an unprecedented low cost. Simply add additional tapes (at up to 6.25TB each) to your LTO system and STILL have the ability to access and modify the data contained on them just as though the data resided on disk. With data transfer rates of up to 400 MB/s, you could make a SERIOUS capacity upgrade with very little effect on speed or your budget! Tape is once again a viable, if not preferred, option for your archival data as well as the standard for backup data sets.

But it’s a tape – how does that work?

The key is that the tape maintains a stub file. Think of this as a table of contents for the data and files on that tape. Once a tape is mounted, the metadata of each cartridge is stored on your server’s cache. Users can then perform metadata operations (such as a search or browsing the file contents) without requiring the tape to even be mounted in a drive. It can then start giving you information about that requested file as the tape spins up to locate that file. Much like being able to see a thumbnail of files on your hard disk without actually opening the files.

So why haven’t I heard much about LTFS yet?

LTFS was introduced with LTO-5 in 2010. The problem was that there weren’t any applications or appliances ready to incorporate this game-changing file system yet. Just this year, we’ve started to finally see a wave of appliances introduced to use this technology to absolutely revolutionize that way you look at your storage area network. The cost savings can be tremendous when you consider that ability to leverage storing certain data on disk and other data on tape, not to mention the energy savings of having data reside on a tape that doesn’t need to spin all day to offer online availability.

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Let us help you find the right solution to capture the increased capacity and enormous cost savings available now with LTFS!