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How LTFS is Making LTO a Drag and Drop

Linear Tape File System is a file system created for data stored on tapes. Just like any other file system like FAT or NTFS, the LTFS has also made reading, writing and sharing data on Ultrium a very easy task. Now with the help of LTFS, the data can be accessed from Linear Tape-Open just like you would from a disk or any removable flash drives. It was developed by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and was later on adopted by LTO Consortium, the company that manages and regulations tape technology. The file system, however, is only compatible with 5th and higher versions of the technology. The combination of data tapes and file system becomes the best ever for corporate data managers as it provides greater reliability, longevity, highest portability and the lowest cost. It brings a number of benefits for its users and the most notable one is the release of its very own, file management system in 2009. Here’s how and what LTFS is doing to make data tapes technology just like a drag and drop in the disk-based system or removable drives.

How to Leverage the Tapes File System: LTFS?


If you are already pumped up and already have acquired all the ingredients. Here in this paragraph, we will sort out of how and when it can be used to bring even fruitfulness to the Ultrium technology.

  • It can only be used with 5th and upper generations of both tapes and drives. Keep this in mind and if you have an older version, upgrade to any of the latest version with WestEndIT Store’s competitive price and exceptional quality test products.
  • Another must have to leverage the power of this software solution is that you must have it downloaded and installed on the system before you can read/write or access any type of data. You can download the software free at any vendor’s website.
  • The last but not the least product needed to start dragging and dropping with tapes is using 5th, 6th or any other greater generation of the cartridge.

Have all these? Splash!!! You are ready to get going and practice drag and drop on Ultrium just like you would on USB or hard drive.


  • Just open the system and all files and directories will come up as a tree.
  • The next step is to further drag and drop any data that you want to fit in your storage media.
  • Constantly check and upgrade. This is so far the best way to get the most out of your backup media when in a crucial time of need from it.

How does it Work?

Now that we know, what is it, what’s in it and how it is becoming a drag and drop or game changer for backup or storage media, the next step in knowing the Linear Tape File System more is, how it works. Let’s have a deep look at its working.

  • Partitioning
    Like every other file systems of the world such as FAT or NTFS, LTO’s very own LTFS also offers two partitions. Once you format a tape based on LTFS, it is divided into two partitions. The partitions are known as Index and Data partition. Let’s have a brief look at them both.
  • Index Partition:
    Like the name suggests, index partition is used to store file structure, name, format type, and a couple more data elements. It is also known as the first partition and all of its content is indexed.Data Partition:
    As it is very obvious from its name, this part of the magnetic tape partition stores the actual data or files that are to be archived or saved as a backup.

    If we are to take about the reliability of hard drive, it has plates, heads, and electronics. On the other hand, the tape is just a magnetic strip on which the data is written with the help of drives. So the chances are very less likely to occur that, LTO will be affected by any natural disaster. Also, the cartridge in which it is enclosed safeguards it. Ultrium also has a lifespan of 30 years and provides portability which is another security measure for a natural disaster, thieves, hackers and potential virus attacks.

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