Data Storage

LTO Backup and Archiving Data

We provide LTO tape storage solutions to store and protect data that needs to be backed up or archived.

LTO tape has been around for nearly 20 years with the first LTO-1 tape appearing in 2000.  Today, LTO storage is the number one tape technology sold globally.  We provide all LTO storage products and media with solutions from all the leading tape vendors including.

  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • IBM
  • Lenovo
  • Quantum
  • Spectra Logic
  • StorageTek
  • Overland
  • Sony

LTO tape storage

LTO Tape Storage Versions

The latest generation of LTO tape storage is LTO-8 and this holds 12TB's native and 30TB compressed, with disk storage capacities rising beyond 12TB by the end of 2018 tape needs to keep up.  With LTO-10 scheduled to be available 2020 this will hold 120TB's native will keep LTO  storage at the forefront of the lowest cost per TB technology.  LTO has a roadmap through to generation 10 storing over 120TB!

LTO Storage Roadmap

You can also purchase LTO WORM tape media for data archiving and compliance purposes.  These tapes are Write Once and as such any data once written cannot be erased.

Backing up to LTO storage

In the world we live today there are many technological choices we need to make when we back up data or do we need to bother at all.  Many companies over the past few years have completely done away with tape and just use disk to disk for backup, there are many arguments for and against using tape.  I believe that tape still has a place in the backup environment and the following will hopefully assist you in making this decision.

Definition of a backup

A system backup should be able to backup the complete operating system including files and applications.  From this, you should be able to restore your last backup and recover to this point in time.  You should also be able to restore individual files or emails.

Tape Fails

I have heard this so many times I have lost count.  If you go back 12 years then yes your ability to read a tape due to corruption, lost leader or backup software was more common.  LTO tape storage today provides unprecendented error recovery rates, the robustness of the media make the tape as reliable as any other form of storage technology.  Disk drives fail are easy to corrupt through failure or maliciously and the rebuild times on RAID storage systems is becoming a huge headache for companies.

The middle ground

A compromise for using tape is a disk to disk to tape backup solution whereby your data is initially backed up to hard disk and then at a pre-determined time this is then sent to tape.  An advantage of this type of solution is that file restores can be performed much faster than tape and you could hold 1 months worth of backups on hard disk.  You could if the budget allows purchase a data deduplication system to condense your backup data by 20:1.  These compression ratios are achieved by creating hashtags for duplicated blocks.  If you would like to know more about data deduplication please call us using the number at the top of the page.

Disk to Disk only Backup

With D2D solution we backup to local disk and replicate the data offsite.  This works, but it is dependant on the amount of data we need to transfer across our WAN link within our transfer window.  Should something happen to the WAN link mid-way through a transfer, can you carry on from when the link broke or do you start from scratch?  This is where data duplication can play a bigger part of your backup strategy as the data we need to transfer is drastically reduced.  With any WAN-based replication, your telecoms links need to be robust and guarantee transfer speeds both ways.

Continuous Data Protection

The historical problem with backups is that they were only taken once a night and if something happened to your system the next day before your backup then you could lose 23+ hours of data.  With continuous data protection, your data is secured up until the last "minute/second/hour".  These backup solutions typically use disk to disk storage for the speed of backup/restore and an element of tape to take critical information offsite.  They have become very sophisticated in the way the data is backed up and overcome the issue of taking a backup once a day.

Advantages of tape

We understand that tape has been around for 60+ years and whilst sales have been on a decline for a number of years it still has many advantages over alternative technologies.

  • True portability
  • Robust
  • Ideal for 10+ years archiving of data providing it's not kept in a Green house
  • Lowest cost per TB
  • Faster backup speed than hard disk
  • Higher capacity with the smallest storage footprint of competing technologies
  • Easy to duplicate

LTO Tape Storage the Future

Any backup solution should not rely solely on one technology and it should be a combination of all of the above. A backup should allow you to recover to a point in time with the minimum of disruption and in a timely manner. LTO tape storage still has a great future ahead providing it is being adopted in the right way with the correct software.

How can we help

If you would like to know more about the LTO tape storage solutions we provide please complete the form below or call us on 01256 331614.



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