IBM FS9200_1

I’m Dhakshinamoorthy Balasubramanian and author the Storageadmin Blog which is focused primarily on Storage, Virtualization and Cloud Technologies.

I have recently accepted an offer with IBM and joined as Senior Technical Consultant for Storage Division.

Going forward, my blog posts will be based on IBM Storage Technologies as I would like to become a Social Media Influencer for the division I work for.

In my previous role as ‘Manager-Systems Engineering’ at TATA Communications Limited gave me a great exposure into Planning, Implementation, Administration and troubleshooting in various platforms such as Microsoft Windows Server 2003 / 2008 / 2012 /2016,VMware ESXi, Hyper-V, Brocade, Cisco MDS, Citrix, DellEMC, HPE, IBM and NetApp Storage Arrays.

Along with some industry certifications, I hold a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Anna University, India.

Recognized by VMware with ‘vExpert 2020’, ‘Architects of What’s Next’ awards.

Blog: https://www.storageadmin.in/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DhakshinaB
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhakshinamoorthy-balasubramanian-8181266b/

 

Disclaimer:
The views expressed here are my own.

All My posting is provided as is with no warranties or guarantees and confers no rights.
While most information is correct to the best of my knowledge, I am not responsible for any issues that may arise in using the information, and you do so at your own risk.
As always before doing anything; check, double check, test and always make a backup

Tape Saves

Many of us feels Tape is dead; Actually, tape usage is increased drastically these days. Larger CSPs, Enterprises use tape technology for their long-term data retention requirements today. With the increase in tape density, customers can store Peta Byte’s of data with smaller tape footprint and can achieve better economics / TCO over disk based solutions.

With the arrival of LTO-8, 360MB/s of tape drive throughput is far better than WAN connected Cloud Storage Containers / Object Storage Buckets when comes to Backup & Restore operations.

Tape is always considered as an “Air Gap” solution which can prevent the data loss from cyber attacks & security threats.

Linear Tape-Open is an open tape format developed by below LTO Consortium members,
1. IBM
2. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
3. Quantum

Please find the below LTO generations,

At present, LTO-8 is being used in today’s backup platforms and tape technology has a stronger focus and future roadmap

LTO Future Roadmap:
> LTO-9 > LTO-10 > LTO-11 > LTO-12

Tape has below rich feature-sets over the years of development,
1. WORM (Write Once Read Many): will ensure the tape data is not overwritten/deleted/modified; Data can be written only once & can read as many times as required. Clients uses WORM media for their compliance and regulatory requirements.
2. Encryption: AES 256-bit encryption improves security
3. LTFS Partitioning: Linear Tape File System improves space management

Media Verification:
It is a scheduled process to verify the tape media /cartridge and ensure the data can be read from it. For larger tape library install base, at least one or two tape drives dedicated exclusively to tape verification

Encryption:

Encryption can be done in two ways,

  1. Application Managed Encryption:
    In this method, Enterprise Backup/Archive solution, will take care of the encryption portion. For instance, IBM Spectrum Protect is capable of generating & managing
    encryption policies and secret keys.
  2. Library Managed Encryption:
    In this method, the tape library has a list of media cartridge volume serial numbers that are designated for encryption

IBM Spectrum Archive:

IBM Spectrum Archive solution can give us the capability of mounting an Automated Tape Library (irrespective of no.of tape drives installed) as a Driver Letter (for instance, Windows Server). So that, we can read and write the data to tape media without having an Enterprise grade backup application. With Spectrum Archive, we can simply drag & drop the files inside a cartridge as good as using an USB stick and perform a file move

Logical Tape Library:

Logical tape libraries used to partition a physical library into few logical portion. For instance, in a service provider environment, CSPs host multi-tenants in backup infra. Some of the client may have preference to one Backup Application (IBM Spectrum Protect) and few may be using (Commvault) and few of them prefers NetBackup. In this case, we can create 3 logical tape libraries and assign tape drives & cartridges based on the requirement. Each Backup application will see the logical library as dedicated physical library for that infra.

FBA vs CKD Overview

Parameter Open System IBM z System (Mainframe)
Storage Type FBA (Fixed Block Architecture) CKD (Count Key Data)
Connectivity Fibre Channel/SCSI etc ESCON/FICON
Character sets ASCII EBCDIC
Extent Size 16 MiB, 1GiB 21 cylinders (or) 1113 cylinders
Base Used by many OEMs IBM proprietary

Note: Whether Flash or HDD, it’s still an emulated track for zOS or FB environments