Get Archiving with YoYotta LTFS
Create cross platform LTFS archives using LTO-8, LTO-7, LTO-6 or LTO-5 tapes
YoYotta LTFS controls one or two standalone LTO tape drives
YoYotta runs well on the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs and macOS 11 Big Sur.
Any Mac running Big Sur will need new software drivers for SAS and FibreChannel interface cards and Thunderbolt LTO drives.
MagStor have released new drivers for their Thunderbolt 3 LTO drives and we have tested them with M1 Macs.
ATTO have released new drivers for their interfaces and these have also been tested with M1 Macs.
Linear Tape File System is a standard format for writing files to tape. It's ideal for storing production and post media as the LTO tapes can be mounted and read on Linux, macOS and Windows. You aren't locked into a proprietary archive.
YoYotta LTFS includes all the features of YoYotta and adds the ability to create archives in parallel to two standalone LTO drives using LTFS. Quickly create industry standard archives on LTO-8, LTO-7, LTO-6 or LTO-5 tapes. YoYotta names, formats, mounts and repairs tape archives. During the archive YoYotta calculates both MD5 and xxHash checksums and then automatically uses these to read back and verify every file.
YoYotta remembers the contents of every tape created so later on you can search to find the location of shots.
LTO-8 tape stores up to 11.3 TB and are a lot faster at 250-300MB/s.
LTO-7 tape stores up to 5.6 TB and are a lot faster at 250-300MB/s.
LTO-6 tape stores up to 2.3 TB and are a little faster at 160MB/s.
LTO-5 tape stores up to 1.25 TB and can be read or written at 140MB/s.
Some space is reserved for LTFS tape indexes.
Unlike hard drives the tapes are designed with a 30 year shelf life.
All tapes must have barcode labels, this identifies the tape and allows use in a library.
We can supply LTO tapes in Europe at great prices with custom YoYotta ID labels printed on durable plastic. They have a standard barcode, plus you can add unique text labels on the left as shown opposite. So you can clearly label Main and Safety, or add a project ident. Unlike other labels each tape can have a different code, you are not limited to a set sequence.
IBM make all LTO-7 and LTO-8 mechanisms, so we supply IBM Barium Ferrite tapes for perfect compatibility.
Contact email@example.com for a quote.
LTFS does allow access from the desktop, but it is not the fastest way to read and write.
Remember that LTFS is a tape that cannot be accessed in parallel.
YoYotta has a smart queue, so multiple copies to tape can be started and they will be processed in order.
Connecting LTO drives to a Mac
The LTFS standard requires an LTO-8, LTO-7, LTO-6 or LTO-5 tape drive. LTO drives have either SAS or Fibre Channel interfaces.
Use SAS drives, they are cheaper, they use more durable cables, there is no configuration and SAS gives the same performance.
To connect a SAS or FC LTO-5, 6, 7 or 8 drive to a Mac use the ATTO ExpressSAS H680, H1280 or ATTO Celerity FC PCIe cards from ATTO.
H644 and H608 cards can also be used, but ensure they have the correct SAS connectors for your drive.
See this link for more details on the ATTO.
These PCIe cards can go in a Thunderbolt expansion like the Sonnet Echo Express SEL shown here.
The Sonnet Echo Express SEL is a compact Thunderbolt enclosure that holds a PCIe card like the ATTO H680. A lot of our customers use this to connect to a desktop SAS LTO drive or tape library. Get the Thunderbolt 3 unit as this means that there is plenty of bandwidth for multiple LTO drives and also daisy chaining other Thunderbolt units. The Apple TB3 -> TB2 adaptor allows connection to older Thunderbolt 2 Macs. There are also other units that hold more than one card.
The NS372TB3 is a 1U rack mount unit from Netstor that has an ATTO SAS card inside, on the back it has two Thunderbolt 3 connectors and an additional SAS output. There is room for two internal LTO drives. Great to repurpose an LTO drive from an archiving appliance.
Read more installing a Netstor unit
You can fit the PCIe card inside an older MacPro. However even the entry level Mac mini will give better performance and will save you a lot of electricity !
There are also units from 1 Beyond, MagStor and mLogic that include an internal Thunderbolt to SAS adaptor so they can plug straight into a Mac. There is also a Unitex unit that has an internal USB3 to SAS adaptor.
ATTO Thunderlink SH1068, SH2068 TB-SAS, ThunderStream SC3808, SC4808 adaptors, R680 or R644 PCIe RAID SAS cards do not support TLR which is a required protocol. So they are not compatible with LTFS running on any operating system.
Highpoint RocketStor and RocketRAID devices are not compatible with LTFS + LTO drives.
The Highpoint 6328L is a SATA protocol interface. It has Mini-SAS connectors, but does not support SAS protocol. So this does not work with any SAS RAID or tape devices.
The Highpoint 6328 is a SAS protocol interface. But it does not support TLR protocol, so it cannot be used with LTO + LTFS.