Part three of our “Demystifying LTO-8” blog series covers the process of migrating from older generations of LTO tape technology to LTO-8 and LTO-7 Type M.
Should I migrate data on older generations of media to LTO-8?
- First consider read/write compatibility:
- LTO-8 drives will read and write LTO-8 and LTO-7 media.
- LTO-7 drives will read and write LTO-7 and LTO-6 media and READ LTO-5.
- LTO-6 drives will read and write LTO-6 and LTO-5 media and READ LTO-4.
- With the exception of LTO-8, the pattern continues: read/write back one generation, read back two generations.
- If you are out of physical space within your library or data center, consider migrating to the latest generation of LTO technology (LTO-8).
- If you want to leave older generations as they are but have reached the partition limit for your library, consider either adding another smaller library to your data center for your LTO-8 partition or migrating some of your oldest data to LTO-8.
- If you need more overall throughput or have reached the drive count limitation for your current library, consider migrating data to LTO-8.
- If you are required to keep data “forever,”” or it has intrinsic value indefinitely, you should store it on media that is readable within the system you already have.
- For example, say it’s time to move LTO-4 media. While it is readable by LTO-6 drives, which you can keep in your library for years to come, this is a good time to begin planning for the future. With almost a 16X increase in capacity, a rather large set of LTO-4 tapes can be significantly condensed on LTO-8 tapes, and be readable for another 20 or so years.
Contrary to many storage pundit’s strong warnings, migration is NOT required on a regular basis with tape. While many companies adopt an every-other-generation approach to migration, this is not required as long as you keep some of the previous generation drives in your library to read them. Migrate when you need to, but let Spectra provide consultation on the right time and process for you. We are partners in your digital archive strategy.