NonStop Insider

job types

Site navigation

Recent articles



For monthly updates and news.
Subscribe here
NonStop Insider

Who is Tributary Systems?

By Glenn Garrahan, Director HPE Business, Tributary Systems

Tributary Systems


The NonStop Insider Editors asked me to talk a little about our company:

Reminding us that perhaps not everyone in the NonStop ecosphere is familiar with Tributary Systems, our history, mission, and current products made me pause and realize that while there’s a lot of NonStop “old-timers” in the mix, there’s a lot of new folks too. And that’s a good thing!


So what’s Tributary’s History?

A tributary is defined as a river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake. This is appropriate, since from its founding in 1990, Tributary Systems has always been a NonStop supplier and partner, whether with Tandem, Compaq, HP, or HPE.

From 1990 to 1996, Tributary Systems, or TSI, was involved in the refurbishment and sale of Tandem hardware. Interestingly, TSI, under our own name, manufactured the first “Tandem compatible” tape storage devices directly available to NonStop customers. In 1996, TSI became an OEM supplier of tape devices to Tandem, a relationship that continues to this day. Besides tape drives, we’ve developed, supplied, and supported all NonStop library management software, and actual tape libraries, from small cartridge loaders to silos big enough to physically walk into.

Some of the tape drive families TSI has provided include Marathon, 9840, DLT (Digital Linear Tape), SDLT (Super Digital Linear Tape), DAT (Digital Audio Tape) and most recently LTO (Linear Tape Open).


Tell us about the current TSI OEM Tape and Media Management products…..

Tributary Systems first introduced LTO 2 for attachment to HPE NonStop servers in 2003. Since then, five generations of LTO have been qualified by TSI, and future qualifications are in the planning stages. For the past 15 years, LTO tape drives have proven to be extremely reliable and robust while managing big data for the world’s most demanding customers. Today, LTO is the only tape technology HPE NonStop continues to employ in mission critical server applications.


Three models of LTO 6 are offered by HPE NonStop:

HPE M8805A LTO 6 FC Tape Drive

trib April 18 - 01

The HPE M8805A LTO 6 represents HPE’s sixth-generation of LTO tape drive technology capable of storing up to 6.25TB per cartridge. The M8805A provides investment protection with full read and write backward support with LTO-6 and LTO-5 media, and the ability to read LTO-4 media. By nearly doubling the capacity of previous generation LTO Ultrium drives, HPE customers now require fewer data cartridges to meet their storage needs, significantly reducing their IT costs and increasing their ROI!


HPE M8801A/M8802A LTO 6 FC ACL

trib April 18 - 02

The M8801A ACL and M8802A ACL (Automated Cartridge Loader) are fully read and write compatible with fifth-generation (LTO-5) Ultrium data cartridges, and offer a further degree of investment protection through its backward-read compatibility with fourth-generation (LTO-4) Ultrium media. Tributary’s tape autoloaders provide cost-effective, easy-to-install, unattended backups that are ideal for an entry-level or a remote automated backup solution. They provide reliability, simplicity, and value of high-capacity automated backup and recovery in an easy-to-use space-efficient form factor!


Backup Applications / Media Management

TSI has also developed several options for Library Management Software:


And the future of LTO…..

In October of 2017, the LTO Consortium announced that two new generations of LTO were to be added to the product roadmap, LTO 11 and LTO 12. This was the first major addition to the LTO product line since 2014, when the roadmap was extended to generation 10. These products are expected to push the availabilty of LTO into the late 2020’s. Just as interesting, LTO 12 is projected to have a native capacity of 192 TB or 480 TB compressed per cartridge!  Imagine, nearly half a petabyte of data on a single cartridge you can hold in the palm of your hand.


Hybrid IT and Tape in the Cloud…..

Hybrid IT, what does it mean? Simply put, it’s an approach to enterprise computing in which an organization provides and manages some information technology (IT) resources in-house but uses cloud-based services for others. One of the key cloud-based services? Storage. And what underpins much of cloud based storage? Tape. Many cloud data centers employ massive tape libraries for long-term lowest-cost data storage. Scientific users combining cloud and tape include CERN, the Argonne National Laboratory, and NASA. In broadcasting, where absolutely massive amounts of digital film and television data require archiving, The Discovery Network is a top example. In education, USC (University of Southern California) uses tape-based storage to archive digital holdings in the cloud. Importantly, tape allows reduced size of Cloud data repositories by allowing “cold” data to be move off more expensive disk. Hybrid IT, Tape Storage and the Cloud are partners, not adversaries….

trib April 18 - 03

And when you need HPE NonStop Server to Cloud Backup, Tributary has your solution ready now!

Tributary Systems’ is ready to support Hybrid IT with NonStop, IBM and open platforms. For NonStop customers requiring Cloud Backup, Tributary System’s Cloud Object Storage is the solution. Employing advanced IBM COS technology coupled with TSI’s proven Storage Director as the “front end”, NonStop customers can transparently take advantage of Cloud Object Storage (COS) without any changes to their NonStop applications.

Storage Director, is a policy-based, tiered, and virtualized software product especially designed for backup which can be seamlessly integrated with any media, including tapes, disk drives, virtual environments and NonStop or other proprietary server environments, plus open systems. Storage Director can group data into different pools and apply different protection policies at different times across any storage medium simultaneously. TSI has gained a massive strategic edge as it has entered into a synergistic partnership with IBM to provide their latest Cloud Object Storage technology. Combining the capabilities of Storage Director while endorsing long-term archival to Object Storage is where TSI sees the data backup and retention market evolving. Tributary is the only company in the marketplace that can backup all NonStop mission-critical servers using a single solution. In addition to Storage Director’s AES 256-bit encryption, data is also erasure-coded in the storage tier. From a performance standpoint, Tributary’s solution can ingest data at a rate of 12TB per hour and restore at about 8.5TB per hour. Should a flash storage be used in the cache layer, the ingestion rate goes up to 37TB per hour and restores at 35TB per hour; these are metrics that are unmatched in the market. Thus, Tributary’s IP, when combined with IBM’s Cloud Object Storage solution, imparts exclusive cutting-edge data storage and management capabilities that can be well extended beyond public cloud models—into hybrid and on- premise environments—and also offers double-layered security for NonStop clients.

trib April 18 - 04

So I’d like to take a moment to thanks the editors of the NonStop Insider for this opportunity to briefly discuss out company and its products. TSI’s employees are proud of the work we do supporting our preferred Mission Critical Server Platform, we’ve proved that with nearly 30 years of a great partnership with NonStop. That’s our take for this month………..