What is a Virtual Tape Library ? An Introduction
Tape technology remains the most cost effective backup solution till date. With current tape technology, tape media have a lifetime of 30 years or more and therefor are the number one choice for data archival. In recent years disk based backup gained popularity due to a drop in disk prices and due a lesser need for manual intervention. The performance of disk based backup is generally consider faster and individual file restores from disk are significantly faster due to faster seek times.
A virtual tape library (VTL) is a disk based backup system which appears to the backup host as a real tape library system. Backup streams are however written to and restored from disk. The biggest advantage of a VTL over other disk based backup solutions is its seamless integration into an existing tape backup infrastructure. Backup applications, policies, licenses etc need not change due to a VTL emulating an existing tape library system.
Benefits of a Virtual Tape Library (VTL) system
Improved backup and restore times
Disk based backup offers faster backup and restore times. Sequential access of data is still maintained by VTL system by writing the backup data to disk in a sequential manner. When compared to other disk-to-disk backup (D2D) solutions, virtual tape libraries are high performance solutions with access to the virtual devices over the storage area network (SAN) while a D2D system utilizes a NAS network. QUADStor VTL devices can be accessed over iSCSI, Fiber Channel (FC) and an InfiniBand network.
Reduced tape media handling
Handling of tape media is greatly reduced, hence lesser manual intervention is required. Only data needed for archival purposes would have to be transferred to a physical tape, reducing the amount of tape media that is eventually needed.
Easy integration and Interoperability
Tape libraries and drives from leading manufacturers are emulated. From a backup application’s point of view nothing needs to change, and to it there isn’t a difference between a virtual tape and a physical tape library. The integration of the VTL solution into the backup environment is seamless and non‐disruptive.
Multiple VTL instances
Multiple VTL instances can be created and one or more VTL instances can be dedicated to a host. Each backup server would direct its backups to its own VTL instance, removing the need for tape library sharing and backup stream multiplexing. Also multiple simultaneous backup streams improve overall backup throughput.
Dynamic disk allocation
Storage is allocated to a virtual cartridges on demand removing the need for pre allocation of disk space. Additional disk storage can be configured at a later point of time to increase the available storage capacity. Additionally disk storage can be categorized into storage pools and virtual cartridges can be associated with a storage pool. For example a WORM pool can be created for virtual cartridges with WORM property enabled.
The VTL extended edition supports inline data deduplication with support for backup data streams from leading backup applications. With data deduplication, store terabytes of backup data for a fraction of the storage cost.
Data compression decreases disk capacity requirements with translates to lesser storage costs. Data can be compressed prior to storing on disk, the compression algorithm used is fast and can achieve 2:1 compression ratios.
With the VTL extended edition replication virtual tape data to one or more remote VTL servers for disaster recovery. Auto replication to a remote server is supported for automatic disaster recovery management
Data from a virtual tape can be easily exported to a physical tape either manually or can be triggered by backup application. Storage pool thresholds enable retention of exported virtual tape data for certain periods of time (tape caching)
QUADStor's Virtual Tape Library
QUADStor Virtual Tape Library software is a high performance VTL solution emulating tape libraries and drives from leading hardware vendors.
- Fiber Channel (FC), iSCSI, InfiniBand and local SCSI access
- Dynamic storage allocation
- Data deduplication (Extended Edition Only)
- VTL replication (Extended Edition Only)
- T10 logical block protection (Extended Edition Only)
- Physical tape import/export (Extended Edition Only)
- Easy storage management with storage pools
- Simple and intuitive browser based management
QUADStor VTL can be setup in a matter of few minutes.
Documentation can be accessed from https://www.quadstor.com/vtl-documentation.html
|Operating System||RHEL/CentOS 6.x, 7.x, Debian 7.x, 8.x, SLES 12, FreeBSD 10.3|
|Number of Virtual Tape Libraries||Up to 128 VTLs, up to 64 drives per VTL instance|
|Number of Virtual Cartridges||Up to 60000 virtual cartridges|
|Host Connectivity||iSCSI, Fiber Channel (FC), and local SCSI access|
Tape Library Emulation
|ADIC||Scalar 24, Scalar 50, Scalar 100, Scalar i40/80 Series|
|Scalar i500, Scalar i2000, Scalar i6000|
|P1000, P2000, P3000, P4000, P7000|
|PX500 Series, PX720|
|HP||ESL9000, ESL E-Series, EML E-Series|
|MSL 2024/4048/8096, MSL 6000|
|IBM||3583 UltraScalable Library|
|3584 / TS3500|
|Overland Storage||Neo 2000/4000/8000 Series|
|StorageTek||L-Series L20, L40, L80, L120, L180, L700|
|SL-Series SL150, SL500, SL3000, SL8500|
Tape Drive Emulation
|HP||DLT VS80, VS160, SDLT 220, 320, 600|
|Ultrium 232 (LTO-1), Ultrium 448, 460 (LTO-2)|
|Ultrium 960 (LTO-3), Ultrium 1840 (LTO-4)|
|Ultrium 3280 (LTO-5), Ultrium 6250 (LTO-6)|
|Ultrium 15000 (LTO-7)|
|IBM||3580 Ultrium 1, 3580 Ultrium 2|
|3580 Ultrium 3, 3580 Ultrium 4|
|3580 Ultrium 5, 3580 Ultrium 6|
|Quantum||SDLT 220 (SuperDLT I), SDLT 320 (SuperDLT II)|
|StorageTek||T9840A, T9840B, T9840C, T9840D|
|T10000A, T10000B, T10000C|
|Vendor||Version||Inline Deduplication Support|
|ASG Time Navigator||4.5.x||Yes (From release 3.0.16, SIDF backup format)|
|CA ARCServe||15.x, 16.x, 17.x||Yes|
|CommVault Simpana||9, 10, 11||Yes|
|EMC NetWorker||7.x, 8.x, 9.x||Yes|
|Symantec NetBackup||6.x, 7.x, 8.x||Yes|
|HP Data Protector||7.x, 8.x, 9.x, 10.x||Yes|
|Symantec BackupExec||10.x, 11d, 12.5, 2010, 2012, 2016||Yes|
|Data Protection Manager||2010, 2012||Yes|
|Quest/BakBone Netvault||7.x, 8.x, 9.x, 10.x||Yes|
|IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, Spectrum Protect||5.x, 6.x, 7.x, 8.x||Yes|
|BRMS||v7r1, v7r2, v7r3||Yes|
|Veeam Backup and Replication||7.x, 8.x, 9.x||Yes|