Tag Archives: Xendata

XenData offering LTO tape-to-cloud migration service

So you have safely archived your content on sturdy, cost-effective LTO drives, but now what? According to XenData, a provider of high-capacity data storage solutions based on hybrid cloud, data tape and optical cartridges, while LTO tape cartridges have a shelf-life of 30 years, after several years there is a need to migrate the LTO cartridge contents to current technology media to avoid the need to maintain old generations of tape drives and systems.

To serve this need, XenData has launched a service to migrate files archived on LTO tape cartridges to cloud storage. XenData archive storage systems have built-in migration capabilities that make it easy for users to seamlessly migrate their files from old generations of LTO to either the latest LTO formats or to the cloud.

This service uses its unique migration technologies to transfer content from LTO to the cloud. Supported data formats include LTFS, Cache-A TAR, XenData TAR and Front Porch DIVA proprietary formats. Contents may be categorized and re-organized before being migrated to AWS, Microsoft Azure or Wasabi public clouds. Alternatively, contents may be migrated to the latest LTO formats: either 6 TB LTO7 or 12 TB LTO8 cartridges.

According to XenData CEO Dr. Phil Storey, “Our service is aimed at organizations involved in creative media that have files stored on LTO cartridges and they want to make the content easily accessible. It is especially relevant to users that have old LTO cartridges written using legacy systems and they want to stop maintaining their old hardware. Often they are fearful that the old hardware will stop working and they are then going to lose access to their content. In other cases, the equipment has actually stopped working and they have already lost access to their archived files.”

This service is available now.

New LTO-7 archive solution from XenData

XenData has launched its new SXL-8 video archive system, which is based on the company’s SX-250 archive server and an LTO-7 autoloader that holds up to 7 LTO-7 cartridges. The system attaches to a network via 1GbE or 10GbE and manages digital content across three tiers of storage: 6 TB of disk within the server, 42 TB of near-line LTO and unlimited capacity of offline LTO cartridges.

The autoloader minimizes the need for operator intervention when compared to a system with external LTO drives. The XenData system will automatically initialize and load blank cartridges when needed as the archive grows, and if automatic LTO cartridge replication is selected, the system can be scheduled to update replica cartridges overnight to maximize daily workflow performance. The system will also issue email alerts and on-screen messages when operator intervention is required to exchange full LTO tapes for new blank cartridges, or to import an offline cartridge for file restores.

Files are presented in a standard file/folder structure that is typically shared over the network, and means that the archive appears just like a disk drive. Files are transferred to and from the archive locally by using either the standard Windows network protocol (CIFS/SMB) or FTP file transfers.

In addition, the system provides an object storage interface using an XML API. These interface options mean that the system works with most media asset management systems and other applications used in the creative video industry. Software modules are available that deliver a tight integration with specific applications, including for Avid Interplay Production and for archiving Avid projects from shared edit storage. Alternatively, video files may be archived and restored manually to a file/folder structure using Windows Explorer or FTP utilities.

The SXL-8 systems write to either 6TB LTO-7 or 2.5TB LTO-6 cartridges using the LTFS exchange format or the open standard TAR format. LTO cartridges provide highly reliable storage with archival lifetimes of 30 years.

The SXL-8 is intended for mounting in a 19-inch rack, taking only 2RU of rack space. Options include the addition of 10 GbE Ethernet ports and Fibre Channel ports for connection to a SAN. The base system includes USB 3.0 ports, which are ideal for connecting USB disk drives as sources for archiving content to LTO.

The SXL-8 system is priced at $15,880.

IBC 2015: Adventures in archiving

By Tom Coughlin

Once you have your content and have completed that award-winning new project, Oscar-nominated film or brilliant and effective commercial, where does your data go? Today, video content can be reused and repurposed a number of times, producing a continuing revenue stream by providing viewing for many generations of people. That makes video archives valuable and also requires changes from in-active to more active archives. This article looks at some of the archiving products on display at the 2015 IBC.

The figure to the right shows our estimate of revenue spent on various media and entertainment storage markets in 2014 (from the Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment Report from Coughlin Associates). Note that although almost 96 percent of all M&E storage capacity is used for archiving about 45 percent of the spending is for archiving.

Quantum showcased its StorNext 5 shared storage architecture, which includes high-performance online storage, extended online storage and tape- and cloud-based archives. The company also highlighted the StorNext Connect, a management and monitoring console that provides an at-a-glance dashboard of the entire StorNext environment. At IBC, Quantum introduced their Q-Cloud Archive that extends StorNext workflow capabilities to the cloud, allowing end-to-end StorNext environments to leverage cloud storage fully with no additional hardware, separate applications or programming while maintaining full compatibility with existing software applications.

The Quantum Storage Manager migrates data from online storage to its object-based Lattus, allowing secure, long-term storage with greater durability than RAID and extremely high scalability. Content can be migrated from Lattus to tape archives or Q-Cloud archives automatically. In addition Quantum’s Artico intelligent NAS archive appliance was on display, offering low cost scale-out storage for active media archives that can scale to PBs of content across HDDs, extended online storage, tape and cloud storage.

Also during IBC, the LTO Program Technology Provider Companies — HP, IBM and Quantum —announced the LTO-7 tape format that will be available in late 2015. The native capacity of this drive is 6TB, while 2.5:1 compression provides 15TB of storage with up to 750MB/s data rates. This product will provide over twice the capacity of the LTO-6 drive generation. The LTO roadmap goes out to a generation 10 product with up to 120TB of compressed content and about 48TB native capacity.

LTO proponents said that tape has some advantages over hard disk drives for archiving, despite the difference in latency to access content. In particular, they said tape has and error rate two orders of magnitude lower than HDDs, providing more accurate recording and reading of content. Among the interesting LTO developments at IBC were the M-Logic Thunderbolt interface tape drives.

Tape can also be combined with capacity SATA HDDs to provide storage systems with performance approaching hard disk drive arrays and costs approaching magnetic tape libraries. Crossroads has teamed up with Fujifilm to provide NAS systems combining HDDs and tape and including cloud storage combining tape and HDDs. In fact archiving is becoming one of the biggest growing applications in the media and entertainment industry, according to the 2015 Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment Report from Coughlin Associates.

Oracle was also showing its tape storage systems with 8TB native storage capacity in a half-inch tape form factor. Oracle now includes Front Porch Digital with its cloud archiving platform as well as digital ingest solutions for older analog and digital format media.

Some companies also use flash memory as a content cache in order to match the high speeds of data transfers to and from a tape library system. Companies such as Xendata provide LTO tape and optical disc libraries for media and entertainment customers. Spectra Logic has made a big push into HDD-based archiving, using shingled magnetic recording (SMR) 3.5-inch HDDs in their DPE storage system to provide unstructured storage costs as low as 9 cents/GB. This system can provide up to 7.4PB of raw capacity in a single rack with 1GB/s data rates. This sort of system is best for data that is seldom or never overwritten because of the use of SMR HDDS.

Sony was showing its 300GB Blu-ray optical WORM discs, although it was not clear if the product is being shipped in storage cartridges in 2015. Archiving is a significant driver of M&E storage demand. This is because all video eventually ends up in an archive. Because of more frequent access of archived content, the performance requirements of many archives are more demanding than in the past. This has led to the use of HDD-based archives and archives combining HDDs and magnetic tape. Even flash memory can play a role as a write and read cache in a tape based system.

Dr. Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates, has over 35 years in the data storage industry. Coughlin is also the founder and organizer of the annual Storage Visions Conference, a partner to the International Consumer Electronics Show, as well as the Creative Storage Conference

IBC Blog: The age of archives

By Tom Coughlin

With the flood of video content being created due to the ease and cost-effectiveness of digital video capture and production and the decreasing costs of storage, digital content saved for the long term will explode. Moving from today’s HD to 4K UHD and then to 8K UHD and at higher frame rates will require greater storage capacities and more sophisticated data management services.

During the IBC 2014 Oracle announced that it was acquiring Front Porch Digital (FPD). Front Porch Digital adds storage management features to Oracle that should complement current Oracle storage products. FPD has been using Oracle tape systems for some time in its largest archives. FPD was the champion and promoter of the AFX storage format that has been adopted as a SMPTE standard. This standard has become popular with many FPD customers Continue reading