A spin-off from Crossroads Systems (in 2016), the start-up Strongbox Data Solutions is expanding its Stronglink data management solution with an LTFS (Linear Tape File System) feature. The arrival of the latter is far from being a surprise since it is one of the specialties of Crossroads.
“We know where the data is, what it contains and we can move it if necessary,” says Floyd Christofferson, CEO of Strongbox Data Solutions (SDS). The Texas company, which we had already met in December 2017, is indeed focusing on data management with data-centric virtualization technology to simplify the management of storage resources.
The Stronglink appliance – physical or virtual – which leverages metadata to analyze usage and optimize its movement, expands with support for archiving on tape using the LTFS NAS function. Archiving is a store-and-forget service, where you only keep items because you have to. The native support of the Linear Tape File System is interesting, because the latter is still widely used in companies to keep critical data or data subject to regulatory constraints at a lower cost and over the long term. The optional LTFS feature supports tape libraries from leading vendors. The arrival of this feature is not really a surprise since Strongbox is a spin-off of Crossroads Systems, one of the pioneers of LTFS archiving systems.
The band still relevant
The ability to automatically discover and write to any tape drive is important due to renewed market demand for tapes, the Strongbox executive noted. At least in companies since the main providers of cloud archiving services use hard drives to store large volumes of data over the long term (AWS Glacier, Azure Cool Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage, IBM Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2 or still Iliad C14). For Floyd Christofferson, “tape is still the cheapest data storage medium. Stronglink with LTFS support extends the storage environment to tape and the software eliminates the complexity of automating this archiving on top of cloud or other storage systems […] All of our clients had not just archiving issues, but different silos to back up.”