Quantum DLT tape drive challenges LTO
New DLT-S4 sports larger capacity, password protection features -- but performance may be the determining factorFollow @infoworld
DLTSage is not too fussy about the keys you assign and will accept anything between eight and 32 characters. It’s important to note that there are no backdoors to uncover a forgotten key, which makes data disclosures difficult but also makes Tape Security vulnerable to forgotten-password reprisals. Without the right key, you won’t be able to access the cartridge from any application.
After setting tape security, my backups and restores ran without problems, as long as I provided the correct key.
Slow but steady
To fill up the exceptional capacity of the DLT-S4 reel, I ran a sequence of scheduled full backups of my server, which is similar to how the tape drive will be used in the real world.
At 65GB for each run, it took many backup cycles before my backup application, Veritas BE (Backup Exec), asked to mount another cartridge. Checking the BE statistics, I saw that the tape had stored a whopping 785GB of uncompressed data, very close to its theoretical limit.
Tape performance was also close to the drive limits, as fast as 108MBps with compression, but to reach similar results you would need something of a “perfect storm” of components, including data that could compress well and a source disk system (like my Raptor array) that could sustain that transfer rate.
The Quantum DLT-S4’s remarkable speed is still well behind the nominal 160MBps of the LTO-3, but customers might appreciate its large capacity, moderate cost, and powerful management features. Clearly, the tape format war in the mid-tier market is not over yet.