IBM Linear Tape File System

Helping improve digital content storage and management

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Highlights

The Linear Tape File System is the first file system that works in conjunction with LTO tape technology to set a new standard for ease of use and portability for open systems tape storage. With this system, accessing data stored on an IBM tape cartridge is as easy and intuitive as using a USB flash drive. And with the operating system’s graphical file manager, reading data on a tape cartridge is as easy as dragging and dropping. Users can run any application designed for disk files against tape data without concern for the fact that the data is physically stored on tape.

The Linear Tape File System offers two different editions. The Single Drive Edition allows access to all of the data in a cartridge loaded on a single drive as if it were on disk. The Library Edition adds support for multiple cartridges in a tape library, and automatically loads the cartridge per file access. Both editions use the file system’s format and resources of the operating system (OS) on which it is running to graphically display the contents of a tape library in the OS graphical user interface (GUI) format, typically a folder/tree structure. Both editions support LTO Ultrium generation 6 and 5 as well as IBM System Storage® TS1140 Tape Drives.

The metadata of each cartridge, once mounted, is cached in server memory. Metadata operations, such as browse directory and filename search, do not require tape movement.

The Linear Tape File System provides a software solution—IBM Linear Tape File System Storage Manager—to manage and monitor archive and restore files. This software solution provides storage lifecycle management of multimedia files to reduce the cost of digital content archive software licensing while also reducing video tape cartridge costs.

Linear Tape File System Storage Manager offers a more integrated solution to tape library users. While both the Single Drive Edition and the Library Edition of the Linear Tape File System can write data on the tape, the software provides the tools that use metadata to arrange, search and manage the files at users’ convenience, according to the policies they decide.

Linear Tape File System is a significant step in moving tape storage away from its reputation as complex and difficult to use. Unlike disk storage, tape has previously required device-specific software to read, write and manage data stored on its cartridges in libraries. Even with tape management software, file access was not intuitive, as it required users to know which cartridge volume contained the files they needed. Further, because operating systems were not typically shipped with built-in tape library support, standard OS disk interfaces did not enable direct reading and writing to tape cartridges stored in tape libraries.

IBM recognises that in order to be an attractive, more widely usable storage medium, tape must be as easy to use as any other medium, such as disk or removable flash. Such ease of use requires a file system interface that behaves like disk, as well as the flash-drive-like ability to share data without regard to platform.

Designed to meet these needs, the Linear Tape File System Library Edition, along with Linear Tape File System Storage Manager, enables users to:

Product features

Hardware summary

Feature Benefits
IBM Linear Tape File System Single Drive Edition and Library Edition
Graphical user interface
Standalone
OS file system API utilisation
Mountless cartridge inquiry
IBM Linear Tape File System Library Edition
OS browser interface
OS file system API utilisation
Portability for LTO Ultrium generation 6
Performance for TS1140 Tape Drive on an IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library
IBM Linear Tape File System Storage Manager
Lower costs
Improved file control
Better integration
IBM Linear Tape File System Single Drive Edition
Hardware requirements
Tape systems IBM System Storage TS2250 Tape Drive (3580S5E)
IBM System Storage TS2260 Tape Drive (3580S6E)
IBM System Storage TS2350 Tape Drive (3580S5X)
IBM System Storage TS2360 Tape Drive (3580S6X)
IBM System Storage TS1140 Tape Drive
Tape media LTO Ultrium 6 and 5, System Storage 3592 JB, JC and JK
IBM System x® or Intel servers For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the System Storage Interoperation Center (SSIC)
Apple Macintosh server For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Host bus adapter For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Supported operating systems Linux:
RHEL 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6.1 and 6.2
SLES 11 SP1 and SP2
Apple Mac OS X:
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (32-bit), 10.6 Snow Leopard (32-bit) and 10.7 Lion (32-bit or 64-bit)
Microsoft Windows:
Windows 7 SP1 (32-bit or 64-bit)
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Warranty AS IS software
Open source for Linux and Mac OS X versions
Object code only for Windows version
IBM Linear Tape File System Library Edition
Hardware requirements
Tape systems IBM System Storage TS2900 Tape Autoloader Express
IBM System Storage TS3100 Tape Library Express
IBM System Storage TS3200 Tape Library Express
IBM System Storage TS3310 Tape Library
IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library*
IBM System Storage TS1140 Tape Drive support on IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library
Tape media LTO Ultrium 6 and 5, System Storage 3592 JB, JC and JK
IBM System x or Intel server For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Host bus adapter For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Supported operating systems Linux:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6.1 and 6.2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP1 and SP2
Microsoft Windows:
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Warranty Multi-year warranty agreement
Object code only license under International Program License Agreement (IPLA)
IBM Linear Tape File System Storage Manager
Hardware requirements
Tape systems IBM System Storage TS2900 Tape Autoloader Express
IBM System Storage TS3100 Tape Library Express
IBM System Storage TS3200 Tape Library Express
IBM System Storage TS3310 Tape Library
IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library
IBM System Storage TS1140 Tape Drive support on IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library
Tape media LTO Ultrium 6 and 5, System Storage 3592 JB, JC and JK
IBM System x or Intel server For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Host bus adapter For details on supported hardware configurations, please refer to the SSIC
Supported operating systems Linux:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 and 6.1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP1
Software requirements IBM Linear Tape File System Library Edition is a pre-requisite in order to install IBM Linear Tape File System Storage Manager