Answer

Library-wide LTFS integration slow among backup vendors

Have you seen much integration of LTFS across entire tape libraries? I know there's a lot of support for LTFS at the drive level, but what about wider integration?

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Linear Tape File System, which provides a file system interface to tape cartridges, was introduced in 2010. While the potential of making tape more "disk-like" is very appealing, the problem with LTFS is that there has been poor integration by the major backup vendors.

Perhaps the biggest recent innovation by one of the major backup vendors came from Spectra Logic. In 2013, they released an interface that they call DS3 (for Deep Simple Storage Services) that extends the Amazon S3 protocols. The DS3 protocol is designed to handle tapes and tape libraries as well.

Often, understanding metadata can be more critical and important (and by extension, more performance sensitive) than retrieving the actual data. Using the DS3 protocol, organizations are able to address data on tape just as they address data on disk. Additionally, the extra object capabilities allow organizations to take advantage of the S3-like nomenclature that many new applications are writing against, and apply the same techniques to data on tape.

This was first published in January 2014

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