LTFS and LTO tapes go together like granite and Perpetual Storage. One without the other just doesn’t offer the same security or functionality. There has been concern that LTO tapes will become obsolete or will fall behind on capacity and speed. These would be valid concerns if, in fact, tape was losing traction.
To those who are concerned LTO tape is dead, fear not for it is very much alive. Tape manufacturers have released the roadmap for new LTO generations leading (at this point) up to generation ten. LTO7 tapes are predicted to hit the market mid 2015 and will offer 6TB native capacity with a transfer speed around 315.x MB/sec. As the generations of LTO tape continue to grow so will their storage capacity and transfer speeds.
LTFS will continue to work with any LTO tape generation greater than LTO4. This will allow IT departments to utilize tape for its capacity and the LTFS for its ability to store files just as you would on a disk array. The LTFS is able to read metadata on the LTO tapes and quickly access them as though they are files stored on your computer.
There is no doubt that tape is here to stay. As technology evolves and storage devices’ capacity increases so does the amount of data that needs to be saved. Hard, flash, and solid state drives will eventually fail due to regular wear and tear. The cloud has multiple applications but can become costly when using it for archival data. LTO tapes are a cost effective solution for long term archival and backup data. Utilizing an LTFS is just icing on the cake.
As you prepare for the next generation of LTO tape be sure to realize the value of LTFS. After all, LTFS and LTO tape go together like granite and Perpetual Storage. One without the other is like Star Wars without Chewbacca.
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