We have recently added the ability for multiple generations of LTO tape drives to co-exist in the same library/autoloader. This new feature will allow LTO-5/6/7/8 drives to co-exist in the same library in order to provide greatest user flexibility with regard to managing their archived content.
Why is multi-generation support important today?
LTO generations are progressing more frequently than before and the LTO consortium is breaking the promised two generation backward compatibility rule (e.g LTO-8 can only read LTO-7 but, NOT LTO-6 or LTO-5).
As a result, customers are finding they need to use multiple LTO generations in parallel as they migrate from older to newer media. Often times a customer will continue to keep LTO-6 drives around for restore and migration purposes while upgrading to LTO-7/8 for present and future archiving support and migration features.
How does DNAevolution’s Multi-Generation technology work?
DNAevolution allows users to mix and match multiple generations of LTO drives in the same library or autoloader. DNAevolution then intelligently picks free drives based on the task and generation of tape.
See the following examples:
* For an archival job, DNAevolution will pick a drive that can satisfy archiving to all the tapes selected in the archive pool. So if LTO-6/7 tapes exist in an archive pool, an LTO-7 drive will be selected for archiving
* For a verification job, based on the drive selected, only compatible generation tapes will be displayed. This holds true for bulk format, bulk duplication and bulk import aswell
How does DNAevolution’s Multi-Generation support effect migration?
DNAevolution v4.5 and above has a tape to tape migration engine. With the addition of multi-generation support, tapes from different generations can be copied to newer generation using tape drives of different generations.
The following hi-lights an example:
* A customer has an 80 slot/6 drive library. It is configured with 2x LTO-6 and 2x LTO-8 drives. NOTE: LTO-8 cannot read LTO-6 tapes
* The customer has setup an LTO-6 to LTO-8 migration which is utilizing 2x drives (1x LTO-6 and 1x LTO-8). This migration continues automatically in the background
* This customer can utilize 1x LTO-6 drive for restores as needed and utilizes 1x LTO-8 drive for archiving new material
The above demonstrates the flexibility enabled by DNAevolution’s new generation migration capability.