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LTO tape usage (modern tape drives)

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I was able to get LTFS working with one of my LTO-5 drives.  Interesting, and I'll admit I am a tape person, or would that be a tape-nut?  If anyone else tries it, you need to install with administrator privileges.  That took a while to figure out.

Also saw an article recently on the Exabytes of LTO tape sold world-wide last year proving that it is still going strong:

A record 152.9 exabytes of total compressed tape capacity shipped in the fourth quarter of 2023, an increase of 3.14 percent over 2022. The figures were released by the LTO Program Technology Provider Companies (TPCs), a group comprising of HPE, IBM, and Quantum.

Granted, most of that was shipped to me, it seems.

I was never able to get the IBM version working, maybe had I installed with admin priv's.


Using the instructions I linked to, or with another method?

I believe the right term is "tapehead". Or at least, that would make sense, don't you think?

Mr. Hogwild,
I tried the instructions you linked for IBM Spectrum and it installed, but I got the same error that I had later with the HPE version.  It has something to do with privileges so when you do the install, you have to "run as administrator'.  That fixed the later problem with HPE but I haven't tried the IBM Spectrum software again.  I'm testing the HPE and once done, I'll try starting Spectrum again.

It's a cool way to do backups as it looks like a disk drive.  Previously, I was using tar under linux and tar under cygwin Windows.  Both ran the tape at full speed, sometimes over 200MB/sec. LTFS seems to pause now and then and when it hits a large file, say 100GB, it stops updating the transfer window.

I can still use tar on unformatted LTFS tape.

The economics and security are pretty good.  I bought QTY 10, 1.5TB tapes for $68, so that's 15TB of native storage and with drive compression it could be 2X or higher.  I use 3TB SAS drives that consume about 7W per, so backing off to tape saves $18.64 per month in power @ .37kw/h (mirrored) with a breakeven of 3.5 months, better with compression.  I take my important stuff and keep it in the car and the pictures and things are in a grab bag.  We had 10,000 homes destroyed about 40 miles north of us, so it happens.  Two years ago, we had planes dropping fire retardant on the hill above us after something caught fire.  They say people dragging chains cause a lot of fires along the highway.  Tapes are good for 30yrs, DVDs less than 10, CDs about the same.



Glad to see this is coming alive.

I've been using a second hand HP LTO-6 tape drive for backups for some time but have been a bit frustrated by the (lack-of) software support.  To test it out I used Veeam backup which does support basic tape use on windows for the free version, but it is really a box imaging solution and is vastly overkill for my needs (with also an added worry about its meta-data storage and backing that up as it is very "black-box" like i.e. when it goes wrong the diagnostics about what it is doing are very limited).

The free version only supports the file-by-file back up to tape (the non-free ones will write machine/VM backup images to tape) which does work for backing my NAS (but comes with a warning about slowness as the number of files increses).  I was originally planning to look at Bacula, but on careful reading the small print, the windows version is agent only and relies on the server (and tape management) running on unix.

I've used so many OS-es over the years (from AT&T v7 onwards)  that I'd be happy to use unix, but I'd rather not add anorther server to the mix just to run unix and do backups (and sadly most of the applications I need to use are windows only, or I only have windows licenses for them, but I do use cygwin).

Suggestions of better programs to try would be very welcome from me as well.  And yes like others I use tape because of issues with RAID and data loss in the past.  Tapes can easily be stored off site...


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