How Low Can Your Data Go With Virtual Tape Libraries

How Low Can Your Data Go With Virtual Tape Libraries?

With the relatively recent emergence of affordable and capable storage solutions, companies and organizations have begun to turn to inexpensive off-the-shelf tape drives to meet the storage needs of small businesses and even end-users. However, a cheaper storage medium doesn’t necessarily mean cost-effective TCO for Best Cryptocurrencies a tape-centric infrastructure.  Luckily, when storage needs are met with a virtual tape library (VTL), the savings can be quite dramatic.

It is true that the overall cost of ownership of a VTL is significantly less than that of a full-blown tape library, and the VTL itself is much cheaper than a traditional tape library. But there is more to the story. Organizations are often surprised at the real-world performance of a VTL. But what does VTL stand for? How can you assess its performance? What benefits can the solution bring to your business? Let’s dive deeper into this theme and try to answer all these questions further in this post.

VTL Basics

A virtual tape library (VTL) is a computer data storage system in which the physical tapes of a real-world tape library are represented by virtual tapes instead of physical ones. By using VTL, you can provide your business users and IT staff with the ability to run their applications, including database applications, from a central location which can be as fast as an on-site virtual tape drive. Apart from data management benefits, there are some other good things about virtual tape libraries.

VTL Performance Characteristics

The performance of VTLs is directly related to the characteristics of their media and disk cache. When we are evaluating the performance of VTLs and tape, we can first decide on how important is the capacity of the media, the speed of the access time, and the size of the cache on the VTLs.

Each track of the media can hold up to 1,024,000 bytes of data. This is roughly the size of one single sector of a hard disk drive. If we compare this to today’s storage systems, the difference is vast, especially when we consider that the capacity of one single sector is more than ten times larger. This big difference in capacity and cost, in combination with the fact that they are considered to be a “near-linear” technology (that means they work by using the whole available media with almost no I/O-to-media lag), makes tape an excellent candidate for archiving or backup purposes. It all sounds good, but is it all true?

Benefits of VTL

There are many benefits of virtual tape libraries that you can count on:

  • Reduced manpower to manage a virtual tape backup;
  • Reduced cost, space, and cooling savings;
  • Faster backup and restoring performance;
  • Data storage without any disruption;
  • Multi-thread restoring options;
  • Reduced migration time;
  • Multiple libraries within logical partitions.

First and foremost, virtualtape systems are certainly much more convenient to use than on-site (also called local) storage. All that you need to do is to plug them into a computer’s hard drive, whether it’s an external disk or an internal one, Best Cryptocurrencies to access your data. It’s no sweat to store data and even retrieve it from these devices. On the other hand, there may be a concern that  VTLs are slower than local storage. However, that’s not always a problem. In many cases, they allow for a perfectly adequate job.

Many experts recommend using VTLs to help with the storage capacity crunch that can sometimes develop when a business starts adding lots of new employees or customers or when it’s experiencing explosive growth. In some cases, when the amount of data stored within a given storage space exceeds the maximum capacity of a single hard drive, a VTL might be the way to go. It’s a fact of life that a business can’t keep pace with a fast-growing data storage appetite. And while cloud storage can theoretically offer unlimited capacity, a business needs to be judicious about how much data it wants to make available through it. That’s especially the case when data is subject to change or update, in which case keeping it in a physical location doesn’t make a lot of sense.

VTLs do offer better security than cloud storage solutions since they’re inherently local. Depending on the vendor, VTL may require additional security. You have to ensure that your VTL’s software is up-to-date, and you have to monitor its use by employees since the vendor can’t be expected to do it for you. On the other hand, you can monitor and even perform security checks on cloud storage providers, but you can’t easily ensure that they’re doing it. So it’s always Best Cryptocurrencies to assume the worst, check and trial out the features, and make sure you’re covered.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that if you’re using a virtual tape library for archiving purposes, data mobility can actually pose a security risk. After all, if a tape can be stored in any number of places, data that is stored in that tape could be exposed to the wrong hands. VTL vendors have devised solutions to this problem. But in the end, the safest approach is to use both VTL and cloud storage at the same time. That way, all your data is protected, even though it’s managed separately by two different providers.

How to Know If a VTL Is Right for You

Obviously, it’s very much a matter of personal preference, but there are some things you should take into consideration before making a purchase. Among them are the number of your business’s active files that will be stored on the VTL as opposed to being stored in a cloud service or on local storage. In other words, if you have a cloud provider that is offering data storage and access, it won’t really make much sense to purchase a VTL if you’re going to keep it for the purpose of archiving. The cloud provider will happily keep archiving for you, and it will be infinitely more convenient. 

This is particularly true if you have many different kinds of data that you want to store that can easily be found in the cloud. In fact, for this type of business, it may make more sense to choose data storage platforms that are capable of managing a diverse range of data types, from email attachments to graphics.