LTFS – The Experts Have Spoken

In the last two BlogBytes posts we looked at key attributes of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) with an LTFS Quiz and went behind the scenes to examine the magic of LTFS that makes it intuitive to use. In this BlogBytes, we’ll explore expert commentary about the technology and how it is changing the face of content protection in the media and entertainment industry.

Experts Rave About LTFS

LTFS’ Role in Workflow: The use of tape storage has traditionally been at the final stages of a broadcast workflow for backup and archive to protect content in the event of a data destructive event to the primary copies. This is an important preservation function; however, with the advent of LTFS combined with LTO technology, tape can also play an important role throughout the workflow. As described by Howard Twine, SGL representative at NAB Show 2014, “LTFS enables a repositioning of that archive solution as the first point of contact for media.”

LTFS at Sea:  “Our major mandate is to position tape as a replacement for disk in near-line workflows,” said Tribid Charkravarty, CEO StorageDNA at NAB Show 2014. “Tape now looks more like disk.” The low cost, ease-of-use and reliability of LTO technology and LTFS makes tape an important storage asset in the media broadcast and production environment. “We haven’t had any failures with LTFS.” continued Charkravarty, “In fact; [LTFS] was used on the James Cameron, [National Geographic] Deep Sea Challenge project. We had four LTO tapes all writing LTFS sitting on a ship in the middle of the equator. So, do people trust LTO and LTFS? I would say the answer is yes.”

Budgets and Capacity are Strained: According to Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates, at IBC 2016, “There is pressure on budgets to keep costs down.” The media and entertainment industry’s  shift  toward “higher resolution, higher dynamic range, multi-camera projects, and especially moving into VR [Virtual Reality],” has increased the size and number of files, thus putting strains on the storage workflow environment. Coughlin noted that, “Security of the content is important because it has serious economic value – making sure the media itself is reliable and will stand the test of time.” LTO technology has been shown to be more reliable than enterprise disk and to help manage ever increasing storage requirements. LTO-7 tape supports up to 6 TB of native cartridge capacity and up to 15 TB compressed.

As the experts attest, LTO technology combined with LTFS can help broadcasters, movie producers and post-production firms save time, money and content, providing peace of mind that can last a lifetime.

Want to see LTO tape and LTFS in action?  Drop by the LTO Program booth, SL10024, at the 2017 NAB Conference in Las Vegas, April 24-27. Additionally, Scott Miller, Technology Fellow for Engineering and Infrastructure of DreamWorks Animations, will be presenting: “Short-Term Archive and Long-Term Asset Preservation Using LTO Technology”, during the NAB Broadcast Facilities session on April 26 at 4:00 PM located at N258.