DataCare LLC, Dubai, UAE spills the beans on LTFS. The information here is gathered from the website of ultrium ( www.ultrium.com)
What is LTFS ?
In short it’s a file system. Just like FAT or NTFS, Long Term File System (LTFS) is IBM’s self describing tape file system that enables tape media to be mounted and read by the operating system when the cartridge is inserted into the tape drive.
What is the Benefit of LTFS ?
The biggest benefit is that the tape can be easily read just like any hard drive. One can view and access tape files in a fashion like disk or other removable media including directory tree structures.
Compare that to the conventional Tape cartridges on which you had to wait till the whole tape cartridge was scanned. Though the tape is still a sequentially writing device, the contents are readily available.
It means that the LTO-5 media has
• Faster access to data: The data is available as soon as the tape is mounted.
• Simple drag and drop Support
• Multi Platform Compatibility independent of any hardware or software platforms.
The Tape can be partitioned.
Beginning with Generation 5, the specifications enables the drive to partition the tape media into 2 partitions, which can be independently accessed. This means that one partition can hold content’s index and the other partition can hold the content. This has enabled the tape to be viewed as a hard drive.
So the tapes are Self Describing now ?
Yes, since the tapes have an index partition the LTO-5s are self Describing. The tapes can be read and written to across any platform without requiring any specialised applications. LTFS is only available on LTO-5 media ( Like HP C7975A LTO Ultrium Media)
What operating systems does the LTFS support?
The LTFS is planned for support on specific versions of Linux, MAC OS, and MS Windows.
How do I get it ?
The LTFS is open source and may be available from a variety of locations. Please contact your vendor for more information.