Virtual Tape and Virtual Tape Drive Technology
A virtual tape and virtual tape library are essentially virtual versions of physical objects. Through software, you can create a virtual version of a tape drive that reads, writes and responds just like a physical tape drive, except that the drive is simply a software application made to mimic the behaviour of the hardware device. The same goes for tapes, as virtual tapes are essentially tapes.
Your data can be read from a physical tape to disk into a format that retains all of the file and blocking structure of a physical tape, but in an electronic format rather than a physical object. This means that physical tapes can be read to disk as virtual tapes, loaded into a virtual tape drive, and read from all modern software applications in an identical fashion to reading actual tapes.
For customers who are using either software that has an end point of tape, or data formats that require block, file and format preservation, Tape Ark offers a virtual tape storage system. Many of their customers want to switch or have switched to cloud end point backup, but their entire historical tape backup library of tapes and data sit in offsite storage until they can expire the media. This then means that companies need to retain legacy hardware and software (including support and maintenance) on their assets for that “just in case” restore.
Tape Ark can convert your physical tapes to virtual tapes and place them into the cloud for easy access to your data, which also eliminates the need to maintain any legacy hardware or software. Not only does Tape Ark offer this service, but they offer it for free. Whether your data is NetBackup, Commvault, Seismic data in SEGD or SEGY or any of the other formats listed here, they can create a virtual tape suitable for access via iSCSI in a cloud-based virtual tape library.
The benefits of virtual tape technology are:
- You can discontinue support on legacy hardware
- You can free up space in your data centre
- You can stop support and maintenance on software applications
- You can stop paying for wasted offsite storage fees to tapes you can't read
- You can apply data analytics and big data applications to your newly liberated data sets on a massive scale
- Data durability enables the use of Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier cloud storage that are designed with 99.999999999% durability
- Low-cost data archiving for long-term retention, with predictable retrieval times and easy deletion or expiry.