The XenData X1500 was released in the summer of 2010 and since then we’ve seen a large number of users choosing the effective standalone archiving device.
It boasts a simple user interface which is intuitive to users who are used to copying files to and from folders on a Windows machines.
The simplicity of how the LTO tape is mounted on the host workstation makes it a lot easier to use that other products. It’s been integrated into Windows very well and this is one of the reasons why it’s straight forward to use.
As you can see for the bottom window, this is the standard Explorer window showing your C drive but in addition you have LTO Drives & LTO Shelf.
The LTO Drives is where the LTO tapes are mounted with the LTO Shelf showing a history of the LTO tapes which have been mounted on the workstation.
Opening the LTO Drive the first window shows the drive empty, then as soon as you insert a LTO tape the drive recognises it as blank media. With a simple right click you can Format the tape and give it a tailored name to suit.
With the tape formatted it’s as simple a opening the tape with the standard double click and then dragging the files you want to archive to the open window. Just like copying files to an external drive. You can see in the Activity Display the history of what has taken place, mounting the tape, the format and at the bottom the file copy. You are given the standard Windows copy display, as with most of them the times are not accurate but the speed is in this case. Once the file has completed the copy the copy window closes and you can see the file on the tape.
Restoring the file from tape in the drive is just as easy, find the file(s) then drag them to the destination you want.
Speeds will depend on the source or the destination but I’ve constantly seen speeds around the 100 MB/s mark and often seen close the LTO5 maximum of 140 MB/s.
What adds more to this product is how it handles files that have been archived to tape but the tape is no longer in the tape drive. Using the LTO Shelf you can still browse the tapes and their contents navigating through folders as normal.
Once you’ve found the file(s) you are after, again you drag it them to your target destination, if the tape which contains the files is not in the drive it will show you a dialog box asking you to mount the necessary tape. As soon as the tape is mounted the restore will take place.
Another great tool that’s included with the X1500 software is XenData Report Generator, this enables you to run reports on the tapes that have been used. Above is a basic one but you can create reports listing all the contents, sizes of files, date of archive if required.
One last feature that is well worth mentioning is tapes from the X1500 can be migrated to server software (X64 Edition of XenData Archive Series). This allows users to start off using single drive then as archiving and requirements increase an automated tape library can be used and you don’t need to rearchive all your content.
For a short video on the X1500 and specification on the X1500 along with other products that XenData offer please see here.