LTFS format

The LTFS format is a self-describing media format standardized by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and IBM Spectrum Archive™ programs comply with this standard.

The LTFS format is a self-describing media format that contains a header that defines the format for the remainder of the file. The header includes instructions for data arrays, file elements and attributes, and the use of metadata.

Two or more partitions are required to use the LTFS format. The IBM Spectrum Archive program always uses the following two partitions:
  • Data
  • Index
The data partition contains all of the data and metadata. The index partition contains a subset of the data in the data partition and metadata. All partitions begin at VOL1. The partitions are written first with XML header information, then file data and metadata. All metadata is placed between file markers.
Note: The LTFS format can be used independently of the IBM® IBM Spectrum Archive program, but the IBM Spectrum Archive program must use the LTFS format.

IBM Spectrum Archive is an implementation of the Linear Tape File System™ specification and the first file system that works with LTO 5, TS1140, and later tapes. For the most current version of the LTFS format specification go to: Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Format Specification.

The system brings a new level of portability and interoperability to open-systems tape storage.

IBM Spectrum Archive helps the user:
  • Reduce complexity in data management and access time by enabling a self-describing tape with a simple file index
  • Decrease tape, file management, and archive costs
  • Improve response time
IBM Spectrum Archive also provides the following enhancements:
  • Files and directories that appear on the desktop directory listing
  • Files that can be dragged to and dropped from the tape
  • A simple one-time installation