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The new role of LTO-5: LTFS vs. tar HPA Tech Retreat Palm Springs February 17, 2011 ©2011 Cache-A Corporation
The issues with using tape Data Portability Standard for format on tape Ease of Use Command-line vs. GUI Self-Describing Directory of a tape’s contents Linear Nature Not random access Can’t freely delete content and recover space ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#2
Data Portability The majority of tape-based solutions use proprietary formats Only one open format has been available – tar LTFS now adds a second open format HP & IBM Interop proven in the demo room ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#3
Ease of Use tar has been command-line driven and mostly limited to tech-weenies LTFS offers accessibility from normal file tools including: Windows Explorer Mac OSX Finder ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#4
Self-Describing Tape – a bit of history 1987: SuperMac DataStream (Mac) 1992: QIC with QFA (DOS) 1996: DatMan (Windows) 2004-2007: Quantum A-Series (networked) 2008: Cache-A tar (networked) 2010: LTFS (Linux, Mac, Windows) ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#5 Proprietary File Access Proprietary Format on Tape Open File System Open Format on Tape Proprietary Table of Contents Open Format on Tape
tar – a bit of history Originally in Unix in the late 1970’s t ape ar chive Established POSIX.1-1988 standard in 1988 POSIX.1-2001 revised extended tar a.k.a. “pax” format Unlimited pathname length Unlimited character set encoding Date/Time, Symlink, User/Group improvements Mac, Windows, Unix and Linux versions available ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#6 Open Mature OS Independent NOT Self-Describing NOT Easy-to-use
tar Format ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#7 tarball
Cache-A tar Format ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#8 Catalog Database Catalog Database TOC Cache-A Appliance Disk Additional Metadata
LTFS Format ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#9
LTFS Format ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#10
Cache-A LTFS Format ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#11 Catalog TOC Cache-A Appliance Disk Additional Metadata TOC
LTFS Issues Newly Minted, work to be done Not all file names supported Tape spanning not supported LTO-5 Only Long delays to update index upon eject Many ops cause tape thrashing ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#12
LTFS does not work like a hard disk The Good News: LTFS Looks like Disk The Bad News: LTFS Looks like Disk If you treat it like Disk, you will have problems File fragmentation, performance issues i.e. Auto-Save Multi-file operations i.e. Icon View ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#13
Cache-A LTFS implementation Include Cache-A TOC on tape Include TOC in Catalog Include “URL encoding” to support real-world file naming Handle linear transactions behind the scenes Plans for continued future enhancements ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#14
Format Comparison Portable, Cross Platform Self-Describing Easy-to-Use ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#15 LTFStar LTFS baselineCache- A
Format Comparison Single File Restore Multi-tape Volumes Library Option ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#16 LTFStar LTFS baselineCache- A
Format Comparison Networked, Multi-user No Client-side Software Handles all file names ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#17 LTFStar LTFS baselineCache- A
Format Comparison Multi-tape Search Search Restore Technical Support ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#18 LTFStar LTFS baselineCache- A
Summary LTFS is the only Self-Describing, Open Solution Available tar is More Mature and More Ubiquitous but not Self-Describing or Easy-to-use Appliance implementations like Cache-A’s can improve both – neither is complete on their own ©2011 Cache-A Corporation#19
Thank You ©2011 Cache-A Corporation #20
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