The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is a file system that allows files stored on magnetic tape to be accessed in a similar fashion to those on disk or removable flash drives. It requires both a specific format of data on the tape media and software to provide a file system interface to the data.
LTFS is a format supported by the tape drive and tape library manufacturers which are the founders of the LTO Ultrium consortium.
This format existed from the LTO-5 generation. The LTO-5 specification introduces the support for partition on LTO tapes. This was the first generation that offer the unique feature to store both data and index data on tape.
A tape written with the LTFS format can be read independently of any storage system and offers a file system to access the data written on the tape.
The tape drive vendors, member of the LTO consortium, provide different implementations of LTFS :
- Single Tape Drive Edition : This type of implementation allows tapes to be formatted as an LTFS volume, and for these volumes to be mounted. Users can then access & drag and drop files and directories stored directly into the tape.
- Tape Library Edition : This one allows LTFS volumes to be used in a tape library. Each tape (LTFS-formatted) available in the library , appears as a separate folder under the filesystem mount point. Users can browse each of these folders to access the files stored on each tape. This automates the Tape Library to load and unload the necessary LTFS volumes.
Single Tape Drive Edition
Tape Library Edition
Nodeum, and its enhanced LTFS implementation
Nodeum uses, in its standard, the format LTFS to write data on magnetic tapes. Nodeum implementation provides a native Tape Library Management. There is no need for additional third party application to manage the Tape Library.
Our implementation covers at least the same level of feature as the listed vendor Tape Library software editions.
And even more :
As describe, Nodeum provides a management of the Tape Library, the tapes automation is controlled and organized by Nodeum.
The difference is how the data is seen. Instead of having one folder per tape, which we believe is not a solution for finding back the files you need.
Imagine, you have thousands of tapes, do you realize the time you will take to open all folders and try to find back your file.
This revealed our desire to design a more intuitive and simpler system to access the global content stored in LTFS tapes.
We built an abstraction layer based on a disk caching which present a virtualized file system. From this file system, Nodeum allows access to different single namespaces combining the disk cache and pools of LTFS tapes.
With this solution :
- From a file system point of view, end users can directly access anything he needs from a well known file structure directory, with folders, sub-folders and files. It is quick and easy to find all data stored into tapes and access them.
- And from a GUI perspective, the indexation engine, catalog and searching features allow to go down to any tapes to list and get insights out of each file.
Certified by LTO Consortium
Nodeum is listed as one of the LTFS Partners and moreover, it is important to know that the solution has been certified as a LTFS certified appliance by the LTO consortium:
See the LTO Consortium :