Most of an organization’s inactive data resides on expensive primary and secondary storage disks. While hard drives and solid-state drives offer faster, more efficient storage solutions for active data, tape storage continues to be the optimal storage media for inactive or archived data, offering many benefits over disk-based solutions for long-term data retention.
With a media lifetime of up to 30 years, tape provides long-term reliability at comparatively low costs. Its offline nature also makes it a critical component for protecting against cyber threats.
As LTO tape is so economical best practice supports the creation of at least two media copies, one retained in the tape library and the second stored off-site or in a firesafe.
But traditional tape storage has some disadvantages including slower data recovery times since tape stored online must be loaded into a tape drive or off-site media must be fetched and loaded into the library before data can be accessed. The tape media must then be searched sequentially to find the file you need.
LTO Tape library software creates an archive file gateway that helps alleviate many of these problems. Creating multiple copies as one operation and making it possible to access, manage, and share tape storage as easy as using network-attached storage (NAS).
What are LTO and LTFS Technologies?
Linear Tape Open (LTO)
LTO is a super cheap magnetic tape that allows enterprises to store large amounts of data. Designed for up to 30 years of archival storage, total cost of ownership (TCO) can vary between 50% and 300% lower than comparable disk-based archiving systems.
With the current generation, LTO-9, storing up to 45 TB compressed, adoption of LTO tape storage is increasing in industries such as healthcare, high-performance computing, entertainment, and media, where large high-capacity storage media is needed to store and secure industry specific files for long periods of time.
Linear Tape File System (LTFS)
Linear Tape File System (LTFS), a file system format that standardizes file operations on tape media, allows you to transfer recorded media between any operating system, platform, or application that meets the standard.
LTFS divides tape into two partitions; one for file information like name and size (metadata) and one for data storage. When the LTFS tape is mounted, the partition with the metadata is read, making the tape contents available. With LTFS, you can perform standard file operations to access, manage and share files, on tape media using a Windows Explorer-type interface.
QStar’s LTO Tape Library Software – Tape as NAS / Tape as Cloud
QStar’s LTO tape library software virtualizes tape storage and presents it as a network share using industry-standard SMB, NFS or S3 protocols.
QStar’s LTO Tape as NAS combines the cost benefits of tape with the access times of NAS. It creates a virtual representation of a tape library, converting it into network-attached storage and/ or cloud-storage, that multiple users and applications can share. Tape as NAS integrates with Windows and Linux servers and supports common networking protocols such as SMB and NFS. In addition, the same Shares / Mounts can be viewed through S3 API protocols (using S3 Browser or similar) or to create a Tape as Cloud environment.
QStar Archive Storage Manager (ASM) virtualizes a range of storage technologies, including Disk Array, Object Storage, Tape Libraries, Optical Disk Libraries, WORM Disk, and Cloud to create a secure, reliable, and cost-effective “Active Archive” environment. ASM manages libraries transparently across one or many Shares, Mounts Points or Buckets and presents storage to users as ordinary file shares that can be searched to retrieve data directly from the Active Archive. Larger or smaller read / write caches allow users to configure solutions for Active Archive or lower cost Deep Archive.
Benefits of LTO Tape Library Software
Lower Long-Term Storage Costs: LTO tape is a fraction of the cost of public cloud and other storage systems, providing the lowest TCO for long-term data retention.
Data Integrity and Security: LTO WORM non-rewritable media support various regulatory requirements, ensuring that critical data is not overwritten or modified. Software WORM is also available for Retention Management options.
Greater Availability: LTO media has an exceptional long data life, resulting in less frequent data migration and greater availability than traditional disk storage systems.
Increased Scalability: easily manage data growth by adding storage as needed to increase capacity. A single LTO-9 media stores 18 TB native and 45 TB compressed.
Why Choose QStar
At QStar, we have been around since the inception of LTO (and before) understanding the ins and outs of removable tape storage. Let us help you implement an archive storage solution for your enterprise using LTO and LTFS technology and optionally the cloud. QStar Tape Library software (Archive Manager) can integrate tape and cloud storage to create a super secure, and easily accessible long-term archive solution.
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