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bloggins666 10-25-2020 02:05 PM

Network based tape drive
 
I had seen a few years ago that there existed for linux, a tape driver that created the devices ("/dev/mt0" for example) but they were in fact network based tape drive interfaces.

So what would happen is that you could have your backup s/w use these interfaces as they would any tape drive using the standard tape drive command set. What they were on the backend was a network based interface to a online service like Amazon S3. Amazon had at the time a service that would emulate the tape drive at their end and read/write your backup to their storage system.

I'm currently running Bacula as my network backup system and they write everything to a large disk on the system as files. Bacula does like tapes though and I'm hoping to set it up so that the full backup ends up being written offsite instead of locally by writing to a virtual tape drive.

So my question is does this interface still exist? Is it just a simple driver to be installed for whichever linux ditro I'm using?


Cheers!!

jefro 10-26-2020 03:55 PM

Not a lot to go on from your post. Maybe you are thinking iscsi? nfs?

It would depend a lot on how this tape drive device is connected to what.

bloggins666 10-26-2020 04:15 PM

I've been looking at the iscsi driver and I'm not completely certain it is what I was describing. I'll keep looking. I'm assuming that someone who has worked with this kind of solution will know instantly what I'm talking about.

So what I saw was that if you opened the "/dev/mt0" device and say wrote to it, the driver would have been configured to take the data you are writing to the device and pass out to your cloud service via a network connection. So it emulates the h/w but is in fact a network connection to the cloud service that is doing what is required to write the data to their "tape drive". It would in fact be some storage space and if it's a tape drive you wouldn't care.

Anyways, I will keep looking.

Thanks for the reply.

Cheers!!

rnturn 10-31-2020 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bloggins666 (Post 6179082)
I've been looking at the iscsi driver and I'm not completely certain it is what I was describing. I'll keep looking. I'm assuming that someone who has worked with this kind of solution will know instantly what I'm talking about.

So what I saw was that if you opened the "/dev/mt0" device and say wrote to it, the driver would have been configured to take the data you are writing to the device and pass out to your cloud service via a network connection. So it emulates the h/w but is in fact a network connection to the cloud service that is doing what is required to write the data to their "tape drive". It would in fact be some storage space and if it's a tape drive you wouldn't care.

Anyways, I will keep looking.

Thanks for the reply.

Cheers!!

Are you thinking of the "rmt" device" by any chance? I don't have any tape drives connected to any of my systems any more but, back in the day, I could use tar, cpio, etc. to write to a DLT tape I had on a system on the LAN. I.e. "tar --file=remotebox:/dev/st0 bunch-o-files" (similar remote device spec for cpio). Check out the tar and/or cpio man pages for details on how one does that. (It might be an info page; try there, too.)

I'm mot sure how Amazon is emulating a tape drive so I can't offer much help there. (My freebie AWS access ended long ago and I never tried anything like this.)

Good luck...


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