LTO roadmap has been extended up to Generation 14



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Userlevel 7
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I have two lto8 lib’s running full bore about 24h a day.   This excites me but my gosh, that is a LOT of data. 

 

Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly. My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

 

Curious when you talk about having a library, how many drives you’re talking about?  I used to manage a Qualstar libarary in a previous role.  It consisted of the library unit with...hard to remember, but I think 8 drives.  I want to say that they were something like LTO5 and LTO6 (could have been LTO4 and LTO5).  It had a turnstile on one side.  We were using Quest NetVault to stage backup data to a SAN and and then it would write off the data from the SAN to the FiberChannel drives in the Qualstar.  Quite the beast.  It eventually got replaced by Dell Avamar/DataDomain and I decommissioned the tape libarary.  My understanding is that the library was something like $1 million when it was purchased.  I’ll have to dig up some pictures if I can find them, but here’s a couple stock photo’s of what it looked like roughly.  It was very cool for it’s time, but was a beast to calibrate if the robot got misaligned with the drives and tape slots.

 

 

Userlevel 7
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My libraries have 8 LTO8 drives in each currently.  I’ll most likely be at 12 per in the next short while.

They are beasts but the price tag wasn’t too bad for the pair.  It’s all relative when you need PB’s of backup space.

I’ve been a fan of the IBM TS4500 libraries.  you can have 12 Drives in frame one and 16 in each additional frame (up to 128 per library)

I think if you went 18 frames you are a max of 128 lto8 drives and 23k tapes or something crazy. It’s like 700PB compressed.  Even 660 LTO8 Tapes in a single frame with 12 drives is a monster backup system though. I’m happy my SAN’s are great and my FC switches allow me the throughput to really push this all as those tapes will hit their max data rates. 

 

In a previous life I was an IBM SSR. I replaced and repaired these things all the time. They seem complex and that robot gets a workout, but it’s actually all pretty straight forward, and knock on wood other than the odd gripper replacement here and there, they are super durable. 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Nice, how much tapes can it manage?

 

 

For my Qualstar, reading the current specs, it looks like it would hold about 1700 tapes between the main unit and the MEM add-on unit.  I don’t think we every had it completely full as some tapes were always stored offsite in a secured location, but to say it was a lot was an understatement to me.  When I decommissioned it, we had issues with the robot being out of alignment again so we just had it unlock the door and manually removed the tapes.  We took one of those plastic rubbermaid carts and stacked them all up on top of it.  I think we removed 500-600 tapes from it which made for quite the heavy cart.

Userlevel 7
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can’t wait the LTO14! I just hope that the humidity conditions will not drop like with LTO9. more capacity but more sensitive!

I am convinced LTO development is pushed by hyperscaler (thx aws...) :). we can consider that the majority of the data is cold so the power consumption is reduced with the use of tape.

I have quantum librairies (I6000) that are 15 years old and still updated with news drives etc, quite a profitable investment. I hope drives connectivities will be increase more than 8gb/s in new generation.

I love new object storage solutions with direct to tape or tiering.  Welcome replication between sites and performances with tiering!

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I’ll add, slower storage and faster hosts usually isn’t as much of an issues as faster storage and slower hosts. Especially if your zoning is good and you are not using ISL’s.

 

I often see people go out and buy an all flash SAN with 32 gig ports and connecting servers with 8 gig to it though. That can cause an issue. Here is 2 vids explaining.  It’s pretty dry so grab a coffee. haha

https://mediacenter.ibm.com/media/Mixing+Fibre-Channel+Speeds+on+the+Same+Fabric/1_6ecwy6ij/172212232

 

 

Userlevel 7
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offsite tapes are all well and good …..but how many people have either a) tested restores or b) actually had to restore in anger, 2-3 years down the line?

 

I have a client that I deployed tape to this summer.  Next week I’m going to be replacing their SAN (and upgraded their NAS’s that are used as Veeam Repo’s), but before we pull out the old SAN, they had this crazy/not so crazy idea to do a full restore of all VM’s from the tape to the old SAN to verify all is well.  

And how did the restore go? flawless?

Don't know yet.  SAN is getting installed in a couple hours.

Userlevel 7
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offsite tapes are all well and good …..but how many people have either a) tested restores or b) actually had to restore in anger, 2-3 years down the line?

100% Craig. Everyone has a story of tape letting them down.

Sometime I should tell everyone the 5 reasons I hate tape.

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sounds like a good blog post in the making @Rick Vanover 

Userlevel 7
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offsite tapes are all well and good …..but how many people have either a) tested restores or b) actually had to restore in anger, 2-3 years down the line?

 

I have a client that I deployed tape to this summer.  Next week I’m going to be replacing their SAN (and upgraded their NAS’s that are used as Veeam Repo’s), but before we pull out the old SAN, they had this crazy/not so crazy idea to do a full restore of all VM’s from the tape to the old SAN to verify all is well.  

Userlevel 7
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I have two lto8 lib’s running full bore about 24h a day.   This excites me but my gosh, that is a LOT of data. 

 

Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly. My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

Userlevel 7
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Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly.

Yes, I agree.
I know about the planned transfer rate for generation 10 only and it is planned to be increased from 400 MB/sec with Gen9 to 1100 MB/sec with Gen10. So, the transfer rate will increase definitely (BTW: Gen1 had 20MB/sec...)

 

My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

If you keep your backup chains short not that much tapes should be used for a single VM…. And for backup-to-tape you can use more than one tape in parallel….

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly.

Yes, I agree.
I know about the planned transfer rate for generation 10 only and it is planned to be increased from 400 MB/sec with Gen9 to 1100 MB/sec with Gen10. So, the transfer rate will increase definitely (BTW: Gen1 had 20MB/sec...)

 

My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

If you keep your backup chains short not that much tapes should be used for a single VM…. And for backup-to-tape you can use more than one tape in parallel….

 

 

I do use multiple tapes at once if the job is backing up several VM’s.   What happens is if a person has lets say 1 monster VM of 80TB, the other jobs will finish and then it will run on one tape for a few days.  While the Speed of LTO8 is quite good,  the data sizes keep increasing to a point that it’s going to take days/weeks to restore VM’s. 

 

That 576TB or 1440TB compressed off one sequential tape is going to be something.   you need a 1.4PB landing/staging area for it haha.

 

The fiber infrastructure alone is going to get pretty expensive to have to keep up with that. Either way I’m excited for it. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly.

Yes, I agree.
I know about the planned transfer rate for generation 10 only and it is planned to be increased from 400 MB/sec with Gen9 to 1100 MB/sec with Gen10. So, the transfer rate will increase definitely (BTW: Gen1 had 20MB/sec...)

 

My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

If you keep your backup chains short not that much tapes should be used for a single VM…. And for backup-to-tape you can use more than one tape in parallel….

 

 

I do use multiple tapes at once if the job is backing up several VM’s.   What happens is if a person has lets say 1 monster VM of 80TB, the other jobs will finish and then it will run on one tape for a few days.  While the Speed of LTO8 is quite good,  the data sizes keep increasing to a point that it’s going to take days/weeks to restore VM’s. 

 

That 576TB or 1440TB compressed off one sequential tape is going to be something.   you need a 1.4PB landing/staging area for it haha.

 

The fiber infrastructure alone is going to get pretty expensive to have to keep up with that. Either way I’m excited for it. 

Yes 😎 LTO-8 is 5 years old now. Data rate and tape size of LTO-8 do not keep up with the data amount increase we are seeing at the moment.

LTO-14 is at least 10 years in the future. Until then a 1,5 PB staging area is probably a joke… 😎
What had you said in the year 2000 (when LTO-1 was new) to the needed 18 - 45 TB staging area for LTO-9? It was just not imaginable…. At this time the 100 - 200 GB of LTO-1 were huge….

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Data streams will need to be added or sped up significantly.

Yes, I agree.
I know about the planned transfer rate for generation 10 only and it is planned to be increased from 400 MB/sec with Gen9 to 1100 MB/sec with Gen10. So, the transfer rate will increase definitely (BTW: Gen1 had 20MB/sec...)

 

My biggest gripe with lto8 is when you have a VM that spans a few tapes how long a single backup or restore gets. I’d much rather write it to several tapes at once. 

If you keep your backup chains short not that much tapes should be used for a single VM…. And for backup-to-tape you can use more than one tape in parallel….

 

 

I do use multiple tapes at once if the job is backing up several VM’s.   What happens is if a person has lets say 1 monster VM of 80TB, the other jobs will finish and then it will run on one tape for a few days.  While the Speed of LTO8 is quite good,  the data sizes keep increasing to a point that it’s going to take days/weeks to restore VM’s. 

 

That 576TB or 1440TB compressed off one sequential tape is going to be something.   you need a 1.4PB landing/staging area for it haha.

 

The fiber infrastructure alone is going to get pretty expensive to have to keep up with that. Either way I’m excited for it.

Yes 😎 LTO-8 is 5 years old now. Data rate and tape size of LTO-8 does not keep up with the data amount increase we are seeing in the last years.

LTO-14 is at least 10 years in the future. Until then a 1,5 PB staging area is probably a joke… 😎
What had you said in the year 2000 (when LTO-1 was new) to the needed 18 - 45 TB staging area for LTO-9? It was just not imaginable…. At this time the 100 - 200 GB of LTO-1 were huge….

 

True, but LTO-9 is current and still could be faster /larger.  I have VM’s that would already fill a LTO10  or 11 Tape. 


I agree 1.5 PB staging area isn’t reasonable for most, but as someone who has multiple PB of on prem storage it’s not as far off as you think, and not really a joke.  I have 200TB of SSD staging right now from an old decommed SAN I just decided to leave for tape restores and other things where I need a landing area.    It’s off maint so it doesn’t cost me anything and if it dies I never put production / non redundant data to it.

 

At this point the landscape is changed vastly since 2000.  1.4PB tapes DO seem reasonable and imaginable.  The question is can technology keep up with demand.  If not we will end up going back to multiple frame libraries instead of more dense tapes. 

 

 

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