The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is being used by many organizations to help protect and preserve precious content files. In this final installment of the three part series we will review a couple of exciting user implementations and look at many of the providers that have hardware and software offerings that support LTFS.
In part one of the series we learned what LTFS is and how it works its magic to make LTO tape act like a disk. In part two we examined the simple steps to get started using LTFS. Let’s now take a look at how organizations have taken advantage of this amazing technology.
Reality TV Post Production Facility Saves Big Time with LTFS and LTO Tape
Fotokem is a large lab and post production provider in Burbank, California providing services for a variety of media and entertainment clients including large movie production studios and reality TV shows.
For reality TV they would take the XDCam disks from cameras, download the content to hard drives, and then archive the XDCam disks. This proved to be expensive and didn’t provide reuse of the XDCam disks.
It became quite clear that they had to achieve a key set of objectives:
- Streamline the process
- Reduce costs
- Make video content more accessible
- Provide long term protection of the XDCam disk content
- Do it all with easy to use, reliable storage technology
Fotokem implemented LTFS on an LTO tape library and found they could get 100 of the XDCam disks on one LTO-5 cartridge for long term preservation of this critical content. The XDCam disks could then be re-used in cameras. This saved considerable space and costs by reusing the XDCam disks in cameras instead of using them for long term storage. They also found that they could make 2 copies of the low cost LTO tapes and move one off-site for safe keeping of the original content. When a previous video segment needed to be recalled from LTO tape they could easily recall it with LTFS.
TV Station Tackles Cost and Space Problem
Alpha TV in Athens Greece has a television station and radio station. The TV content is a variety of news, entertainment, and movies.
They were using pro-video tape to store all original content and programming and found it to be consuming shelves of space, in fact, rooms were consumed of pro-video tape storage. The pro-video tapes themselves were costly and the maintenance costs of the pro-video tape decks were excessive.
Alpha implemented a couple of LTO-5 and now LTO-6 tape drives with LTFS to store original content from the cameras and to store an archive of movies on demand and programming content.
The savings and benefits were outstanding:
- Replaced all DVCPRO tapes and decks and can now store 3 times the number of television series at 1% of the media cost
- Reduced physical space to store tapes by 74%
- Lowered storage maintenance costs by 77%
Alpha has since installed two LTO tape libraries supporting LTFS. One LTO tape library for news and one for archiving all programming. Very impressive.
See LTFS Users Tell Their Stories
Screenscape Studios in Iowa cares dearly about archiving their content throughout a project and beyond. See Screenscapes video story and more at LTFS user stories and videos.
LTFS Developer Offerings
The community of support for LTFS is outstanding. Offerings as simple as tracking where LTFS tapes are inside and outside the organization up to full blown workflow and archive systems are available. Some vendor offerings provide NAS-like functions and most offer tape library support. These offerings end up creating an LTFS self-describing tape with the intention of being sharable amongst any other LTFS compatible system.
LTFS with LTO-5 and LTO-6 tape technology can provide remarkable benefits. LTFS was demonstrated live at the LTO Program booth at the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas. Watch for an upcoming BlogBytes review of the show including some entertaining client quotes!