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Tape libraries with drives that can read SDLT, LTO3, LTO4

Posted on 2012-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-04-10
I'm looking at
a) Oracle StorageTek SL500
b) Oracle L700
c) IBM TS3310
d) IBM TS3200

tape libraries.


Which of the above four would allow me to read+write to LTO5 tapes
(I suppose this is called Ultrium 5) as well as read from LTO3, LTO4
and SDLT 320 tapes (for backward compatibility as I have a lot of
these old tapes)

Pls recommend the required Netbackup options & drives I must
buy in order to achieve the above requirements
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Question by:sunhux
3 Comments
 
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 150 total points
ID: 37821147
You'll need a 2 drive library with two separate magazines, one for LTO5 drive/tape and one for SDLT drive/tape since LTOs are thinner than SDLTs; so you might as well get two separate libraries.
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SelfGovern earned 190 total points
ID: 37821651
SDLT is a dying format.  Andy is right that SDLT cartridges are physically different
than LTO cartridges, so it will take an SDLT tape drive and an LTO tape drive to
be able to read both formats.

My recommendation is that you keep whatever solution you have now for SDLT
to allow you to read/restore those tapes when you need to down the road.  Then
pick up a new library that supports LTO drives and use that for future backups.  

An LTO-5 drive (according to the LTO standard) can read and write LTO-4 tapes,
and can read LTO-3 tapes... so it sounds like any library that supports LTO-5
will meet the LTO part of your needs.

I don't know about the Oracle and IBM libraries you've listed, but HP's MSL
family supports LTO-3, -4, -5, and will support future LTO families as they
come along.  Tape drives can be SAS or Fibre Channel.  

The HP libraries also have a really neat Encryption Kit that gives you
hardware generation and management of encryption keys on LTO-4 and
newer tape drives.  With the value of data on tape, the laws regarding
safeguarding that data, and the number of tapes that go missing, encryption
is an important technology.  http://www.hp.com/go/msl
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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 160 total points
ID: 37821737
From what i remember the SL700 and probably the SL500 have a robotic hand capable of handling both DLT and LTO carts in the same library, if so, you would just have to set up two library partitions in the one library (obviously a library with both sorts of drive).

I agree with @selfgovern about DLT and you should plan to convert all your DLT data to LTO, ie plan extra LTO space for this.
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