Safely store large amounts of data at low cost using LTO storage technology compared to disk. Many users have also found that using the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) can unlock even more powerful benefits of LTO technology. In this BlogBytes, we will review what makes LTFS a powerful enabler for users and how content producers can benefit from using LTO tape with LTFS!
LTFS – The LTO Power Enabler
LTFS technology has become the go-to solution for video archive by unlocking the powerful attributes of LTO tape with disk-like access to files. It is widely used in the broadcast industry and is even an ISO international standard. But how does LTFS do it?
It starts with the partitioning feature of LTO technology which was first introduced with LTO generation-5. Partitioning enables a tape cartridge to be split into two sections called partitions. The first partition holds the table of contents and metadata, providing quick access and management capabilities, while the second partition holds file contents. This is a simple and ingenious concept.
LTFS offers access to tape’s contents in an operating system browser, providing the ability to drag and drop files to and from the tape in a manner like using a USB drive. Furthermore, there are many data storage software offerings that support LTFS. This can provide simplified backup, archive and workflow management for small to large implementations, including standalone drives up to large tape libraries. Find out more and see a list of LTFS implementers here.
Today, most video production is being produced in 4K. This format produces large storage requirements. A typical HD movie at 1080p is about 5GB in size, while a 4K movie can be 100GB or more! This presents workflow, archive and delivery challenges for producers.
Fishbowl Worldwide Media, a movie and TV content producer, has implemented a solution using LTO tape and LTFS to manage this daunting 4K task. As reported in a case study, “when Fishbowl Media was shooting Insane Pools: Off the Deep End for Animal Planet, they had over 50 hours of 4K content. To store with SAN, the cost was $21,350. The cost for LTO storage was $800 for the same 32TB of capacity.” As stated by Sharon Arnett, vice president of post-production, Fishbowl Worldwide Media, “We don’t need as much nearline storage, because we only restore what we need. It eliminates a lot of spinning disk, a process prone to failure and is costly.” Benefits noted in the case study included: Simplified Avid pipelines with the packaged LTFS conform workflow, ability to use various versions of Media Composer, storage savings and simplified conforms.
With LTO technology, tape cartridges are offline – providing an air gap and helping to prevent access from malware and hackers. In addition, tapes loaded with large amounts of content are easily transportable from one location to another at a cost that can be far less than sending files over the internet or through comm-lines.