What is a Virtual Tape Library (VTL)?

A Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is a disk (DASD) based backup system that emulates a real tape library system. For the operating system and to those who use the VTL, it’s like working with real tapes, but in reality it’s disk.

A Virtual Tape Library has several benefits:

  • Better backup/restore performance – Disk performs better (faster) than tape.
  • Reduce tape media handling – Only data needed for archival purposes will have to be transferred to a tape, which reduces the amount of tape media that is eventually needed.
  • Dynamic disk allocation – Storage is allocated to a virtual tape on demand removing the need for pre-allocation of disk space.
  • Easy integration – Because VTL is an emulation of a tape solution, the integration is seamless and non‐disruptive into an existing tape backup infrastructure.
  • Multiple instances – Multiple VTL instances can be created and one or more VTL instances can be dedicated to a host.
  • Data compression – Data can be compressed prior to storing on disk, using a fast compression algorithm.
  • Disaster Recovery (DR) – VTL supports auto replication to a remote server for automatic Disaster Recovery (DR) management.
  • Tape import/export – Data from a virtual tape can be easily exported to a real tape either manually or can be triggered by backup application.  The same applies for data from a real tape to a virtual tape.
  • Data deduplication – (data deduplication is a specialised data compression technique for eliminating duplicate copies of repeating data) It allows storing terabytes of backup data for a fraction of the storage cost.
  • Cost efficiency – VTL technology allows the cost of storage to be reduced.


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