General FAQs.

Why Archive?  Why not just keep everything on my local disk system?
Many companies just continue to grow their storage capacity, filling-up their local disk system until they run out of storage or experience performance issues. Employing a digital archiving strategy is common in broadcast, particularly in news departments, where they understand the usage patterns of their data.  Progressive stations build multi-tiered storage architectures to realize the right cost, access, and protection characteristics from their storage infrastructure. Intelligently archiving your data saves energy, assures availability, and saves time, as well as enabling you to keep more digital assets without creating an unmanageable data storage environment.

Why OS Storage?
OS Storage has the longest pedigree in the industry with regard to digital archiving.  Our engineering roots trace back to the early 1980’s, offering the depth and perspective to build rock-solid technology.
We’ve installed hundreds of systems, primarily in the broadcast sector, where timely and reliable access is critical to maintain an excellent on-air presence.

Why “active archiving”?
Why wait?  We can serve up data in seconds, or minutes, depending on which “layer” of storage the object resides.  By simplifying access to look like a very deep “network drive”, your digital assets are easy to find, and never unavailable for use.  
You are keeping these files, because you see a future use.  We want to make it easy to store, and even easier to recall.

Which technology makes more sense as the back-end storage?
It depends.  You need to make an assessment of several critical parameters, namely:  Lifespan required, access characteristics, and total size of the archive over time.
Tape offers the key advantages of extremely low price per Gigabyte stored.  It also can stream files very quickly back to disk for large video playback requirements.  It is best suited for very large archives, but the lifespan is rated at 20 years, as compared to optical’s 50 year lifespan.
ODA is an optical based technology.  It offers faster access within a given data set.  So for project based archiving, hopping around between files on a single platter is very fast.  It is a great fit for web or creative companies or departments, or where file sizes are smaller than large, high resolution video.

Why is the open format a big deal?

Storing your data in a proprietary format is the norm for archiving technology companies.  Their approach locks you into their technology, making migration very difficult and holding you hostage to extract data through their software.  If they go out of business or get acquired, you can run into an ugly situation.

Our philosophy is to keep your data in the format it was created.  You can always read your files without any filter or converter required.  It’s your data.  You should always be able to access and use it.

What kind of access can I expect for files, objects, and videos?
It depends onwhen the file was last used, or how often it is accessed.  If it is still on the disk system, it will take a few seconds to locate it’s whereabouts and serve it up (nearly immediately) to your application or request.  Worst case, it is a very old file, never accessed, and stored at the very end of a tape.  This can take several minutes as the software needs to identify the location, the library needs to mount a tape, and the tape drive needs to use a high-speed forward search for the file.  
Using the new LTO File System technology enables the fastest possible search and access times for tape based archiving. Maybe an accordian style drop down?

Technical FAQs

Q. Can LTO-8 Drives read LTO-6 Media?
A. No, LTO-8 Drives can read LTO-7 and LTO-8 only.

Q. Can your appliances be expanded if I want to increase online capacity?
A. Yes, you can expand your capacity by adding additional appliances.

Q. How does your offline media app work?
A. If a requested file is on media that is "offline", the app will send you an audible alert
with the media label name that needs to be re-introduced the system.

Q. What is LTFS?
A. LTFS stands for Linear Tape File System. Developed by IBM.  This file system
allows tapes written in this format to be read and written in a stand alone drive like a LTO-8 tape drive.


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