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The Value of LTO Tape and LTFS for Archive

Archiving is a key use case for tape. But how does archive actually differ from backup? And how can tape archive solutions help you reduce costs, save time and reduce risk?

Archive is NOT backup!
It’s important to understand that archive and backup are distinct processes with different objectives—each one imposing different requirements on the storage systems that they utilize.

A backup is a secondary copy of production data used for restore or disaster recovery in the case of data loss. By contrast, an archive is a primary copy of less frequently accessed information that has been moved off primary production disk to lower cost storage. Typically this is performed for data management, compliance and information re-use purposes. A backup is also ultimately overwritten, whereas archived information is often a permanent record, stored without deletion for an extended period of time. 

Understanding backup versus archive: what’s the difference?
The best archive platforms should blend scalability, high reliability and long-term durability, with easy access and simple integration—all at the lowest possible cost.

  Backup Archive

Method Copy of Production Data Original removed from production

Purpose to recover data in the event of data loss, Destruction, corruption etc. To retain data for regulatory compliance
 e-Discovery support helps shorten backup and recovery windows, reduce total costs of storage

Data Policies Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)
Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)
Retention periods
Access Controls

Data Handling Duplicate copies are periodically overwritten Data cannot be altered or deleted before retention expires

Retention Period Short term Long term

The value of tape for archive
Tape’s unique blend of cost-effective, scalable, dependable, and removable storage has always delivered proven benefits when it comes to protecting and retaining your data. And with the introduction of LTFS, tape archives are now as easy to access, manage and share as disk! LTFS makes tape self-describing, file-based, and easy-to-use. It provides you with the ability to use standard file operations on tape media for accessing, managing, and sharing files with an interface that looks just like a hard disk.

In addition, LTFS provides the ability to share data across platforms, as you would with a USB drive or memory stick. Simply load a tape into the drive, mount it into the file system, and it becomes visible as a disk.

LTFS makes tape as easy to use and share as disk

The open format nature of LTFS also makes tape much easier to integrate into existing products and workflows.  As a result, LTFS is being deployed at accelerated rates in a growing ecosystem of archive solutions.  This includes simple drag and drop applications such as HP StoreOpen, as well as “Tape as NAS” active archive applications such as the HP StoreEver/QStar solution that combine the cost benefits of tape with the access times of NAS.

These LTFS archive solutions deliver particular value for industries such as media and entertainment, healthcare, video surveillance, oil and gas—where ever-increasing volumes of images, audio and video need to be protected, retained and distributed.

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