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Vendors Showing Support for LTFS

by on July 21, 2011

IBM’s Linear Tape File System, or LTFS, is just a year old, but it already has proven that you can teach an old dog—in this case, tape—new tricks. In fact, the IT cognoscenti predict that LTFS will give tape quite the data-archiving pedigree.

Now, vendors are starting to roll out products that support LTFS and take advantage of its unique characteristics to make it easier to write and read archived data. For starters, IBM, Oracle and HP have added, or at least announced plans to add, LTFS support to their tape libraries.

Beyond basic tape library support, vendors are starting to leverage LTFS in their up-and-coming data archiving products. For example, Crossroads Systems Inc. plans to launch its StrongBox network-attached storage for tape with LTFS support later this year. The product will take advantage of LTFS’s ability to enable access to archived data on tape without archiving software. In addition, Quantum Corp. plans to add to its StorNext software the ability to import from and export to LTFS tapes. Cache-A also supports LTFS across its archive appliances for media and entertainment companies.

All of this activity goes to show that LTFS is a real innovation, one that will make archiving data cost-effectively on tape simpler, easier and faster. The response so far from the marketplace is proof positive that LTFS, in combination with LTO-5 tape, has the potential to change for good the way the industry views and uses tape. We already know tape’s strong suit: long-term storage and archiving. LTFS’s unique characteristics, leveraged in these and many other products to come, make it easier to tap into tape’s strengths—helping to position it as a true long-term storage and archiving superstar.

When teamed with an effective tape management system and disk, LTFS’s open nature and ability to simplify data storage just might make it an active archive’s best friend.

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