The ninth generation of the LTO format for Spectra Logic’s line-up of tape library appliances, including the Spectra TFinity ExaScale, T950, T950v, T680, T380, T200, T120, T50e and Spectra Stack. These tape libraries support LTFS (Linear Tape File System), WORM (write once read many) and hardware encryption. They can also be used with Spectra’s Media Lifecycle Management, a tape media administration tool that generates information users need to keep tapes and data protected.
Certified with the major ISV (independent software vendor) packages, Spectra’s tape libraries integrate with Spectra’s BlackPearl Object Storage Platform, which facilities can use to build a system for storage, access and preservation of data to multiple storage types – disk, tape and cloud.
Resurgence of Tape Deployments
“The industry is seeing a resurgence of tape storage deployments by organisations with growing data repositories, even if they already have disk and cloud, because tape affords the greatest storage capacity at the lowest cost per terabyte with high reliability,” said Christophe Bertrand, senior industry analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Tape systems, such as LTO-9, also achieve air gap protection against ransomware, giving organisations a means of protecting their data offline, beyond the reach of external threats.”
The new ninth generation of the LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape format is designed to improve data storage density and speed, supplying up to 18TB of native capacity per cartridge and up to 45TB with compression at a 2.5:1 ratio. This surpasses the capacity of LTO-8 by 50 percent. Full-height LTO-9 drives reach uncompressed transfer speeds of up to 400 MB/sec, which is almost two times faster than current hard disk drives. LTO-9 drives are also backward compatible with LTO-8 tape media, so that users can read/write LTO-8 media.
CEO and Founder of Spectra Logic Nathan Thompson said that the availability of LTO-9 tape demonstrates the extensibility of the LTO open format that was originally developed over 20 years ago. He said, “With each generation, new features have been introduced, such as WORM, LTFS and hardware encryption.
“We recently made software updates for our installed base of thousands of LTO libraries that allow users to add or upgrade to LTO-9. Also, since we have developed the first tape library, the Tfinity, that can already store an exabyte of native data with LTO-9 drives and media, we are enthusiastic about the long-term prospects of LTO tape.”
Data Storage with LTO-9
The Spectra TFinity Tape Library is designed to meet large-scale backup, archive and data protection requirements, helping to address data growth in such industries as high performance computing, scientific research, media and entertainment, cloud storage, education, healthcare, finance and traditional IT.
Spectra’s TFinity Tape Library supports three tape formats in the same library – LTO, IBM TS 11xx and Oracle T10000. The system is scalable from 3 to 45 frames, over 56,000 slots, with a bulk load capability. To increase performance and reliability, each tape library contains two of the robots used to manipulate media. Dual robotics speed up tape exchanges and workload sharing and make sure that moves are assigned to the best positioned robot for higher performance. A focus on compatibility means the systems work with nearly all third-party software packages.
Spectra has also extended its Certified Media process to support and improve the characteristics of LTO-9 media. Because media quality is central to efficient tape storage, and all tape is not the same, Spectra certifies media for use in its systems, involving an inspection and verification process, and a lifetime guarantee. At the same time, Media Lifecycle Management maintains the safety of data by outputting continuous assessments on more than 40 different metrics throughout the life of each tape. Detailed reporting mitigates media problems and restore issues, alerting users to copy and move data onto new tapes should it be necessary. www.Spectralogic.com