Aug 072014

Currently I’m confronted with a lot of ignorance around LTFS. This is interesting as there are some very good resources [1,2] on what LTFS is good at and what should be solved using a dedicated backup or archiving application (like Archiware P5).

If you want to use LTFS consider the following best practice rules:

  • LTFS is good at transporting data – Archiving is hard as there is no real index database
  • LTFS should be used like a WORM (Write Once Read Many) tape
  • The bigger the files the better as small files have a horrible performance
  • If you only want to access files mount the tape read only to this increases the performance
  • Don’t force nonsequential tape operations with things like browsing a folder in thumbnail view
  • Try to only access top level folders (copy those folders to or from tape)

If you still think LTFS is the right solution for you go ahead and use it! On OS X most vendors [for example: Tandberg, HP] ship the same FUSE based filesystem and a small manager application. The following video gives a not so short introduction on how to use it:

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