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LTFS to protect archive

19 August 2013

Asset management specialist TMD, which is already implementing a collection management business system for the National Archives of Australia (NAA), is to add LTFS capability to provide secure, application-independent long-term storage. This is one of the first applications of the LTFS file system in a major audio-visual asset management implementation.

LTFS, the Linear Tape File System, is an open standard originally developed by IBM for the IT industry but originally launched at NAB in 2010. It is designed as a companion to the widely-used LTO data tape format, an open standard maintained and developed by a partnership body including HP and Quantum.

The significance of LTFS is that it is a self-describing file system, incorporating the file structure and metadata as well as the content on each tape or other storage device. Because it is self-describing, an LTO tape can be taken from an archive associated with one system and loaded into any other system supporting LTFS, with the content and its core metadata instantly readable. This capability was demonstrated by SGL and others at NAB earlier this year.

The system TMD is implementing at NAA, built on its Mediaflex asset management platform, is using LTO-6 as its archive format. Through the use of LTFS, TMD and NAA are ensuring the security of the data archive for many decades into the future, no matter how many generations of asset management applications succeed the current system.

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