XenData6 Server software supports addition of a Cloud File Gateway from version 6.25. This means that it will manage content stored on both a local tape or optical library and in the Azure Cloud. The software presents all the managed files in one highly scalable file system. Furthermore, it includes a function called Repack which will migrate the contents from one storage medium to another without changing the position of the migrated files within the file system. The Repack operation happens in background and occurs without any system downtime.
Data tape cartridges have been around for a long time and, for the last several years, the dominant physical tape format has been LTO – an acronym for Linear Tape Open. There have been multiple generations of LTO with good backwards compatibility between earlier tape cartridges and later LTO drives. With LTO, this means that physical tape interchangeability is normally not a problem. However, the way data is written to the tape cartridge varies greatly. In 2010, IBM launched a standardized way to write files to LTO called LTFS (Linear Tape File System) which has been widely adopted for archival applications. But even today there are many different proprietary data formats used with tape.
If you are looking to move content from data tape to the Azure cloud, XenData6 Server software with a Cloud File Gateway enabled is a great way to perform the migration as an automated background task. The current XenData software supports the following two tape formats:
- LTFS from any vendor
- TAR written by XenData
If you have a large quantity of tapes written in some other format and want to migrate the content to the cloud, please contact us with details of the physical tape format (e.g. LTO 4) and the application that wrote the content. We are interested in expanding the range of supported tape formats and may be able to help.