Fujifilm Recording Media recently announced availability of its Dternity LTFS archive appliance. The NAS device stands in front of a tape library and presents it as a file system allowing organizations to take advantage of the low cost of tape media while maintaining the ease of use that disk-based storage offers. The system also offers connectivity to Fujifilm's Dternity Media Cloud storage service.
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The Dternity archiving system utilizes network-attached storage (NAS), cloud and tape storage. It comes in three models with capacities of 5.7, 12 or 21 TB. Dternity's cloud offers different service-level agreement options to allow customers to choose a plan that meets their requirements, according to the company.
"If you look at it, it seems like a pretty obvious thing to do, but nobody did it," said George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland. "And what they've done … they abstracted the interface to those three targets, and you're writing to this abstracted area, and then the system decides -- governed by policy -- where it places the write."
He went on to say that "a lot of archives go proprietary, sometimes for good reason … but [Fujifilm] chose to stick with LTFS, and that solves the big challenges you have when you have deep archive. Because 20 years from now, who's going to be able to read this thing? Now, we've gotten a committed-to standard that I can take a tape and mount it on any of the major operating systems and actually restore data from it, even though it's part of an archive," Crump said.
Crump said use cases for Dternity would include industries that deal in large amounts of unstructured data, like healthcare and media. But the "sweet spot" may be government applications.
"Where we're seeing that happening the most is in state-level government because of the use of cameras and things like that to collect data because of the sheer volume and depth of video now is high enough that keeping it all on disk becomes difficult," Crump said.
He said Dternity offers users a lot of advantages by offering the ability to leverage NAS, cloud and tape for data storage and archiving in a single product. But he pointed to the large amounts of data that organizations now generate and need to manage. Tape is an economical option for archiving and takes less energy to operate than disk. He said tape will continue to do well in the marketplace.
"We're clearly seeing a re-emergence of tape as part of the backup process," Crump said. "The tape industry has really cast itself as, 'We're about archive now.' We're still seeing a lot of users using it as a component of their backup process -- sort of a restore of last resort."