Virtual Tape Library Software

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Tim October 11, 2016 at 4:14 pm. Hi, I’m about to implement a storage/backup solution and I’m looking for the software I need to run this. I intend to setup a QNAP TS-431 NAS unit and I also intend to use an IBM TS-2900 LTO3/4 Tape Library which has SAS and Ethernet interfaces. The intention is to use the NAS for general day-to-day storage and to back this up periodically to the Tape L. Tape Gateway presents cloud-backed storage through an iSCSI-based virtual tape library to your on-premises backup application. You can backup data directly from your backup application to Tape Gateway. Tape Gateway asynchronously copies your backups to AWS and enables you to scale backup storage needs on-premises with a pay-as-you-go pricing. Virtual Tape Library: A virtual tape library (VTL) is a technology for data backup and recovery that uses tape libraries or tape drives along with their existing software for backup. The virtual tape library system emulates the former magnetic tape devices and data formats, but performs much faster data backups and recovery.

A virtual tape library (VTL) is a data storagevirtualization technology used typically for backup and recovery purposes. A VTL presents a storage component (usually hard disk storage) as tape libraries or tape drives for use with existing backup software.

Virtualizing the disk storage as tape allows integration of VTLs with existing backup software and existing backup and recovery processes and policies. The benefits of such virtualization include storage consolidation and faster data restore processes. For most mainframe data centers, the storage capacity varies, however protecting its business and mission critical data is always vital.

Free Virtual Tape Library Software Windows

Most current VTL solutions use SAS or SATAdisk arrays as the primary storage component due to their relatively low cost. The use of array enclosures increases the scalability of the solution by allowing the addition of more disk drives and enclosures to increase the storage capacity.

The shift to VTL also eliminates streaming problems that often impair efficiency in tape drives as disk technology does not rely on streaming and can write effectively regardless of data transfer speeds.

By backing up data to disks instead of tapes, VTL often increases performance of both backup and recovery operations. Restore processes are found to be faster than backup regardless of implementations. In some cases, the data stored on the VTL's disk array is exported to other media, such as physical tapes, for disaster recovery purposes (scheme called disk-to-disk-to-tape, or D2D2T).

Alternatively, most contemporary backup software products introduced also direct usage of the file system storage (especially network-attached storage, accessed through NFS and CIFS protocols over IP networks) not requiring a tape library emulation at all. They also often offer a disk staging feature: moving the data from disk to a physical tape for a long-term storage.

While a virtual tape library is very fast, the disk storage within is not designed to be removable, and does not usually involve physically removable external disk drives to be used for data archiving in place of tape. Since the disk storage is always connected to power and data sources and is never physically electrically isolated, it is vulnerable to potential damage and corruption due to nearby building or power grid lightning strikes.


The first VTL solution was introduced by Cybernetics in 1992 under the name HSTC (high speed tape cache).[1] Later, IBM released a Virtual Tape Server (VTS) introduced in 1997. It was targeted for a mainframe market, where many legacy applications tend to use a lot of very short tape volumes. It used the ESCON interface, and acted as a disk cache for the IBM 3494 tape library. A competitive offering from StorageTek (acquired in 2005 by Sun Microsystems, then subsequently by Oracle Corporation) was known as Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) which leveraged the market dominant STK Powderhorn library as a back store. Each product line has been enhanced to support larger disk buffer capacities, FICON, and more recently (c. 2010) 'tapeless' disk-only environments.


Other offerings in the mainframe space are also 'tapeless'. DLm has been developed by EMC Corporation, while Luminex has gained popularity and wide acceptance by teaming with Data Domain to provide the benefits of data deduplication behind its Channel Gateway platform. With the consequent reduction in off-site replication bandwidth afforded by deduplication, it is possible and practical for this form of virtual tape to reduce recovery point objective time and recovery time objective to near zero (or instantaneous).

Outside of the mainframe environment, tape drives and libraries mostly featured SCSI. Likewise, VTLs were developed supporting popular SCSI transport protocols such as SPI (legacy systems), Fibre Channel, and iSCSI.

The FalconStor VTL is the foundation of nearly half of the products sold in the VTL market, according to an Enterprise Strategy Group analyst.[2]

In mid-2010s VTLs got a rebirth thanks to hi-capacity 'archive' drives from Seagate and HGST and more popular 'tape in cloud' and Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape (often in cloud) scenarios. [3]

See also[edit]

  • Disk staging for an alternative approach


  1. ^'History of VTL/IBM'.
  2. ^'InfoStor ESG Report on FalconStor Virtual Tape Library'.
  3. ^'The Rise, Fall, and Rise, of Virtual Tape Libraries'.
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FalconStor® Virtual Tape Library with Deduplication is a disk-based solution that emulates physical tape drives and libraries.

VTL is a vital tool in your data mastery arsenal and gives you instant hero status by modernizing your archive environment and optimizing backup storage requirements so you can save your department money and improve restore performance to enable rapid remote disaster recovery.

Whether you’re refining an existing backup system or implementing a new one, FalconStor VTL with Deduplication can make the process faster and smoother, reducing backup windows and improving storage efficiency by up to 95%.

You’ll get 100% peace of mind with leading ease-of-use and 3X-6X better price/performance. Protect data and make it highly available and accessible from multiple sites while integrating with existing backup applications with minimal effort.

Meet the backup window. Achieve single node aggregate backup speeds of up to 40TB/hour to meet your single biggest issue in backup. FalconStor VTL with Deduplication archives data with no impact to application servers or business continuity.

Scale to meet data growth needs. Deploy the only solution that can independently scale high availability backup nodes from cluster deduplication nodes to handle large data sets and extremely demanding backup windows. Emulate more tape libraries and drives than any other vendor so you can recover data from any point in time: 128 virtual tape libraries, 1024 virtual drives, and 1M virtual tapes.

Reduce capacity requirements. Eliminate redundant data and reduce capacity requirements by as much as 95% while selecting the deduplication policy that best aligns performance to business requirements.

Leverage private and public cloud for long-term data retention and recovery. Achieve low-cost tape archive that is encrypted for protection and managed by the local VTL software. Migrate virtual tapes to Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 object storage and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) for archive purposes in the cloud, and set up policies on virtual tape libraries to automatically migrate tape data when a tape is ejected to the virtual vault after backup.

Achieve flexibility no other solution can give you. Unlike competing solutions that require dedupe, FalconStor VTL supports multiple policies, so you can choose inline or not – you won’t suffer hydration penalties, ever.



FalconStor VTL works by removing redundant data blocks are removed and replaced with pointers to the unique data copy. In effect, only changes from the last time the data was stored are kept. All unnecessary meta-data is removed, leaving only the raw data stored on disk. All of these processes are secure, automated, and error-free.

Reduce remote office storage requirements by up to 40% and protect data while eliminating failures related to tapes non-IT staffing issues with no lock-in.

Align deduplication processes to business goals. Meet regulatory and compliance requirements for protecting and storing data offsite while ensuring it’s highly available and accessible from multiple sites and define your deduplication use case (remote office, inline, post/ concurrent, or none) based on SLAs and business needs.

Use existing investments. FalconStor VTL with Deduplication is a reliable and fast backup solution that is vendor-agnostic, which means you can use existing hardware or choose your own hardware to save costs and ensure no compromise on performance.

Modernize your IBM i backup environment. With 80% of IBM i customers using tape as a primary backup strategy, look to FalconStor to help you orchestrate your backup and archive for IBM i environments. By using FalconStor VTL as a backup target for IBM i infrastructure, you can reduce operational and media costs while increasing performance levels to meet stringent application recovery SLAs and maximize ROI.


Designed with your organization’s size and unique needs in mind, FalconStor VTL is available in several form factors:

  • Software Only: Provides the flexibility to choose the hardware and configuration appropriate for the level of protection and recovery required.
  • Virtual Appliance: For VMWare infrastructures scaling from 1TB – 10TB
  • Storage Appliance for ROBO and Midmarket: For remote/branch office (ROBO) and midmarket environments, scaling from 12TB – 192TB.
  • Cluster Deduplication Gateway for Midmarket and Enterprise: HA cluster deduplication gateways that integrate with certified existing SAN storage, scaling to 2PB of usable storage for midmarket organizations, enterprises, and large enterprises.

Please see the Certification Matrix for all server hardware supported. Hardware support includes, but is not limited to, FalconStor VTL GA870 and Hitachi G200/350.


  • VTL 10 Overview
  • FAQ: Virtual Tape Library with Deduplication
  • WHITE PAPER: Virtual Tape Library with Deduplication
  • WHITE PAPER: Virtual Tape Library with Deduplication Best Practices Guide
  • Using FalconStor VTL as a Backup Target for IBM i
  • WHITE PAPER: High-Performance Backup in Enterprise Environments by Evaluator Group
  • VIDEO: High-Performance Backup in Enterprise Environments by Evaluator Group
  • Virtual Tape Library with Deduplication Storage Appliance
  • Virtual Tape Library Cluster / Single Instance Repository Deduplication Gateway
  • VTL 10 Data Sheet (Korea Only)
TapePRODUCTSProducts OverviewContinuous Data ProtectorEnterprise SuiteNetwork Storage ServerStorSafe™Virtual Tape Library Overview— FAQ— IBM i Environments— Backup Performance

Virtual Tape Library Vendors

— Backup and Archive Orchestration