Quantum Unveils Its First LTFS Storage Appliance

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-04-16 Print this article Print

Scalar LTFS is a tape-storage distribution system that features a network-attached storage (NAS) front end and is based on the file system's open standard for video content formatting.

Quantum Corp. (NYSE:QTM) got into the young but promising Linear Tape File System (LTFS) business April 16 by launching an appliance that offers new methods of portability and user accessibility for archived video content on digital tape.

The company made the announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

Quantum's Scalar LTFS features a network-attached storage (NAS) front end and is based on the file system's open standard for video content formatting, the company's Strategic Business Manager, Mark Pastor, told eWEEK. The appliance sits between the media and the tape storage library to serve as a content distribution system for video or other heavy workloads, such as cloud services.

"What we're doing here is that up to now, Quantum has not had an LTFS solution for our tape libraries," Pastor said. "There are some open-source, freely available software downloads from us and others to utilize standalone drives with LTFS, but there's not too much available in the way of solutions to allow customer to write tapes in the LTFS format."

LTFS-based content works with existing application and file system tools and is easily managed, transported and made accessible for long-term data protection and archival storage, Pastor said.

The Linear Tape File System format is a self-describing tape format developed by IBM and released in 2010 to address tape archive requirements.

The Scalar LTFS appliance also can be used to import and export LTFS open-standard media into Quantum's StorNext File System, which already is used by a number of media companies. This, in effect, provides a content-distribution alternative for cloud services and heavy-duty applications such as video archiving, Pastor said.

The NAS interface on the Scalar LTFS appliance enables media files captured on digital recording media such as XDCAM disk or P2 solid-state drives (SSDs) to be easily copied onto Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape. This frees up the high-end digital media for reuse, saving the cost of additional expensive media. The Scalar LTFS appliance presents files stored on tape as a file system, making it easy for users and applications to organize and search archived content.

The appliance has the ability to access up to 10PBs of archived data, and it is able to scale as content and performance needs grow, Pastor said. Files can be dragged and dropped to LTFS tape cartridges in Quantum's Scalar libraries and partitioned directly from the user's native file browser.

The Scalar LTFS appliance will be available beginning in June in three models: enterprise, departmental and SMB. List pricing begins at around $15,000.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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