LTFS backup

figure 1: backup to an LTO tape

LTFS backup concept

Silverstack offers a feature to specifically backup to LTO tapes. Due to the nature of their hardware, LTO tapes need a different copy and verification process than other kinds of drives. The process used by Silverstack is to first copy all the files, then rewind the tape and perform the verification step afterwards. This way only one tape rewinding step is needed for each backup job.

Additionally, Silverstack supports any kind of LTO drive that creates an LTFS file system on macOS. Generally if the LTO drive can be accessed in Finder, it can be used by Silverstack. Have in mind that tape formatting has to be previously performed in the LTO drive utility before starting the backup process.

No data capacity information is offered for LTO tapes. For this reason, it is recommended to manually check that the backup size does not exceed the tape capacity to prevent failed backup jobs. Only copy jobs to a single LTO tape are currently supported.

 

Starting the backup process

In order to start a backup job to an LTFS drive, just select the ‘Backup to LTFS’ command in the ‘Media’ menu:

Media Menu

 

Once the ‘Backup to LTFS’ command is selected, the Backup Wizard launches:

Backup Wizard: Clip Selection

It’s possible to choose the copy source volume in case the files have multiple backups registered in the Project Library. Selecting the fastest source volume generally increases the copy performance, depending on your hardware.

Silverstack by default copies all the clips and files contained in the Folder or Bin you previously selected to backup. If you just need to offload a subset of clips, you can check the ‘Allow partial offload’ checkbox. Clips can be marked and unmarked either by using the checkboxes or the ‘mark’ and ‘unmark’ buttons by the ‘search’ field. Therefore either select all clips you’d like to import and then click on ‘Mark Only Selected’ or select those clips of all already marked that shall not be imported and click on ‘Unmark Selected’.

As you can see in the following image, there is a bunch of keyboard shortcuts for marking (#1) and unmarking (#2) clips to facilitate this task.

figure 3: marking clips to offload

‘Mark’ and ‘Unmark’ keyboard shortcuts

Once the source volume and the clips have been selected, you can press on ‘continue’, which leads to the Copy Destination Selection step.Add the LTFS drive to the destinations by pressing the + button:

LTFS Backup Wizard: destination selection

 

In relation to the additional options under ‘Verification Behavior’ and ‘Checksum Method’, you can find a detailed description of each one of those settings in the article The Copy and Verification Process in Silverstack: Verification Behavior.

There is also the possibility of using the Path Wildcards feature, which offers users a way to create custom folder structures based on the metadata contained in clips.

After determining your copy destinations and settings, click on ‘Backup Files’ to start the copy process. All the information about the backup process can be supervised in the Jobs panel.

In order to keep track of the clips copied to a certain tape, it’s possible to generate a Volumes Report. For more information on how to generate these reports in multiple formats, please check the article Creating Reports.

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Related articles:

Backup Clips

Parallel offloading

Tags: lts, ltfs, tape, archival

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