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Tape Library (offline storage)

IBM TS3500 Tape Library

The JLab Mass Storage System (MSS) is an IBM TS3500 tape library with LTO drives,  installed in 2008 to replace JLab's original StorageTek silo with Redwood technology. The TS3500 is a modular system, with an expandable number of frames for tape slots and drives, and an expandable number of tape drives. The lab's JASMine software provides the user interface to the MSS.

Our current configuration consists of

  • 12,500 slots in 11 frames, with 16 frame maximum
  • 24 tape drives
    • 4 LTO-5 drives, 140 MB/s 1.5 TB raw per LTO-5 cartridge, reads and writes LTO-4
    • 8 LTO-6 drives, 160 MB/s 2.5 TB raw per LTO-6 cartridge, reads and writes LTO-5, reads LTO-4
    • 4 LTO-7 drives, used only with LTO-6 media with LTO-6 specs; reads and writes LTO-6, reads LTO-5
    • 8 LTO-8 drives, 360 MB/s  12 TB raw per LTO-8 cartridge; reads and writes LTO-7

We routinely move 5 TB / hour in and out of the library, and peaks can be over 10 TB / hour. New data is written to LTO-6 and LTO-8 tape, and each generation of tape drive through LTO-7 can read the previous two generations, and can write one previous generation.

The new LTO-8 tape drives provide 75 PB growth capacity.  As the volume on LTO-8 grows in 2018-2019, additional LTO-8 drives will be added, increasing total bandwidth from 4 GB/s to as much as 6 GB/s, as needed.