Thoughts of the Future of LTFS and Disk

By: In: Backup Tape On: Jul 08, 2016
Thoughts of the Future of LTFS and Disk

For years, disk vendors have heralded the death of tape. Will tape vendors soon be saying the same for disk?

In a recent Forbes article, Tom Coughlin argues that a recent wave of industry announcements will have an impact on data storage, protection and long term preservation.

Couglin notes that NVM Express, an industry trade group working on standards for storage devices such as SSD, announced a network fabric specification to allow thousands of solid state drives to be shared via a fabric rather than host specific using PCI Express.

He also shares that the LTO Consortium and SNIA named the LTFS specification an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard (ISO/IEC 20919:2016).

Tom reminds us that published specifications help create an open industry where vendors can create solutions that interoperate. Standards then drive adoption.

NVM already enables mission critical applications to run at blazing speed. LTFS will enable tape to hold data in a file system with automatic copies for backup and instant disaster recovery.

NVM storage outperforms hard disks for speed, reliability and environmental cost. Tape outperforms hard disks for reliability, cost per GB and environmental cost.

Combine the two technologies in a Data Centre and the long term viability of hard disks comes into question—while LTFS still has a long life ahead of it. Tom writes:” LTFS is a technology that will make the use of tape for long-term, affordable storage easier and more attractive.”

What are your thoughts on how LTFS will impact the industry (and how it already is)? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

In the meantime, feel free to take a look at the History of Tape infographic to see how tape has performed over the years.

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About the author

John Woolley

Head of Technical Sales at Iron Mountain John is a sales and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience within the IT industry. For the last 10 years, John has been an evangelist for data centre virtualization and data management, working to bring innovative solutions to solve real data issues. As Head of Technical Sales for Iron Mountain, John defines and drives Iron Mountain’s Cloud Data Management solutions. He also recommends and defines the strategy for Data Management products and services based on customer interactions. Prior to Iron Mountain, John held several roles as a Sales Manager and, most recently, as a Data Protection Specialist.