Key Tape Definitions

The integrated LTO tape backup and archival system within Platform provide system administrators powerful capabilities to safely backup and delivery media assets directly from the Platform Interface.

ProMAX Platform supports a number of different types of LTO tape devices including both standalone drives and LTO tape libraries.

The Tape Screen allows users and administrators information about the status of tape drives and management of catalog and tape libraries.

It is important to note that the ability to use the Tape functions in the Platform System requires the use of a ProMAX approved tape drive that must be licensed by ProMAX Systems. If the license has not been added to the Platform System, the tape screen and tape functionality will not be available to the administrator.

Key Tape Definitions

Platform defines tape backup and archive as follows:

Backup Definition – Backups mean copying file and folder information from a disk device (Platform Space or Storage Group) to one or more LTO Tapes. As seen later, backups can be full or incremental.

Archive – An archive also copies file and folder information from a disk device to LTO tape, but it also automatically performs an MD5 checksum on those operations and then deletes the data from the Platform Space. Users that just want to make copies of files should use the backup option.

Tape Formats

Platform supports both standard LTFS and Tar (tarball) formats so that operators can move tapes to other tape systems. The tar format is written in 5GB file chunks and contains elements of an XML file for the tape directory. The Platform system can also read existing Cache-A tapes.

When a new tape is inserted into the system it must be formatted. During the format process the operator will choose which format, tar or LTFS, to use. The table below describes some differences between tar and LTFS formats.



The Platform System uses the traditional definition of Full and Incremental backup to allow system administrators to keep data safe and minimize the time to complete backups.

Full Backup – The full backup copies every file in a Platform Space or every file selected to the tape and then sets the ‘archive bit’ for the file on disk. The ‘backup flag’ tells the Platform System that the file has been backed up.

Incremental Backup – The Incremental Backup option copies files to tape that have changed since the last Full Backup. Each time a file is changed on a Storage Group, the Platform will update the ‘backup flag’ to indicate the file has changed. Then when an incremental backup is requested, the system will backup these files to tape.

Tape Generations

The ProMAX Platform supports the following tape drives and formats.

LTO Tap Gen