I like LTFS (Linear Tape File System). I was hoping it would take off but it has not. And looking at its future, its significance is becoming less and less relevant. I look if Cloud has been a factor in the possible demise of LTFS in the next few years.
What is LTFS?
In a nutshell, Linear Tape File System makes LTO tapes look like a disk with a file system. It takes a tape and divides it into 2 partitions:
- Index Partition (XML Index Schema with file names, metadata and attributes details)
- Data Partition (where the data resides)
It has a File System module which is implemented in supported OS of Unix/Linux, MacOS and Windows. And the mounted file system “tape partition” shows up as a drive or device.
There were many attempts to kill off tapes and so far, none has been successful.
Among the “tape-killer” technologies, I think the most prominent one is the VTL (Virtual Tape Library). There were many VTLs I encountered during my days in mid-2000s. NetApp had Alacritus and EMC had Clariion Disk Libraries. There were also IBM ProtecTIER, FalconStor VTL (which is still selling today) among others and Sepaton (read in reverse is “No Tapes’). Sepaton was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems several years back. Continue reading