Linux file system + LTFS tape = Nodeum's cold storage

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: Why a tape backup system is still a good storage option

LTFS – the Linear Tape File System – seemed like a great idea when it emerged but not many storage vendors seem to have made much of it. It puts a file system on top of a tape library and turns it into something like a tape-NAS, making it suitable for archive use cases.

Spectra Logic has made use of LTFS in conjunction with object storage in its Black Pearl product, but there aren’t many other vendors giving it much of a chance.

One that is, however, is Belgian consulting firm MT-C in its Nodeum product.

Where Spectra Logic puts object storage in front of LTFS, Nodeum puts the highly scalable Linux journaling file system Ext4 as a means of indexing the content catalogue and metadata for data that resides in the LTFS file system.

“The target use cases”, said CEO Valery Guilleaume, “are large volume datasets that will not be in constant use, for one-off, now and then use cases in markets such as healthcare/genomics, media, video surveillance etc.”

Nodeum uses disk (including a flash component if required) to power file system operations and to provide a quicker access to data in use.

Disk capacity ranges from 20-something TB upwards while tape capacity goes from 50TB to somewhere around half a petabyte although nodes can be added to give almost unlimited capacity.

You can buy Nodeum as a software product and build it with commodity server hardware and a tape library.

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There are many companies programming LTFS applications: Imagine Products, StorageDNA and XenData are just a few. There's an entire consortium and Tape Council with over 40 different participating companies as well.
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You are right, but NODEUM is sighly different than the product you mentioned. NODEUM provides central catalog an enrich metadata ; it's a full ReST API appliance providing a virtual file system encompassing : online storage, nearline storage and offline archiving. It's clearly an active archive system. End user can easily get all data they want just in clicking on the file.

It's a NAS (or tNAS/FLAPE) using flash, disk and tapes behind an hybrid & virtual file system.
On the top of that, feature of data exchange permits to users to exchange on an intuitive way data between partners.

If you are interested to get any further details on the product, feel free to contact me.

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