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I'm currently looking to design a storage architecture for a video production team. I've got the disk part sorted, but I'm looking for some advice on the tape library / long term archive part.

The video assets are all stored centrally and managed by a central asset manager server. The clients access them over the network and at the moment, that works great.

What I'd like is for a tape library to be presented to the system as a network share, so that an auto-archive job can just copy the assets from disk storage to the network share. The tape software would then manage the process of putting that data on tape, and doing some caching on local disk. Any client connecting to the network drive would see the full catalog of files and directories stored on tape and could initiate a pull from tape (or cache) just by requesting the file over the network. Obviously, this would be quite high latency, but has the advantage of not requiring the client to have any special software or knowledge about how tape libraries work.

There's a product called XenData that appears to do exactly this (http://www.xendata.com/products09/X64.html) but it appears to be Windows only, and I can't find any resellers online. Are there any other software solutions that can do a similar thing?

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It sounds like you're trying to engineer your own hierarchical storage system. Are you aware that there are products out there that can manage this for you? Tivoli Storage Manager is one such thing.

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I only took a glance at TSM, but it seemed to be more "lets backup lots of remote systems", much like backup exec and others, rather than an offline archival solution. –  growse Mar 8 '11 at 14:49
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Read into it a little further, and you'll see that it does storage for HSM as well as doing backups. It's a fairly big product. Of course, there's other things as well. If you look into the HSM space, you ought to be able to find something to meet your requirements. –  mfinni Mar 8 '11 at 15:31
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We deployed TSM HSM at one point (now a few years back) in our storied history with the TSM product, and it made us cry. Performance was worse than bad - it was actually unusable. There are other products in the HSM space (dCache, for example); I'd suggest looking into one of those. –  Jeff Albert Mar 9 '11 at 3:12
    
Like I said, I wasn't advocating for TSM as the single product, just a well-known example of a product that does what growse was asking how to build himself. I've never actually used TSM myself; although I think our document management system is going to be migrating to it soon. –  mfinni Mar 9 '11 at 13:42
    
Thanks for the comments, I'm going to take a closer look at the HSM space. –  growse Mar 15 '11 at 9:44

Possibly HP LTFS? I've never tried it, but it claims to present tapes as disk volumes (which you could then feasibly share with NFS, SAMBA, etc) using a FUSE driver, which is how I might implement such a concept...

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbizsupport2.austin.hp.com%2Fbc%2Fdocs%2Fsupport%2FSupportManual%2Fc02262008%2Fc02262008.pdf

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