StarWind Virtual Tape Library best practices


StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is the StarWind solution that eliminates the need for physical tapes improving the backup performance.

VTL technology allows the administrators to add an extra level of protection to the backups automating the DR process by offloading tapes to the cloud.


StarWind Virtual Tape Library

A physical tape infrastructure is not a cost-effective solution and its management requires time and effort of the IT department. Tapes must be stored in a safe place and carefully checked on regular basis to ensure data recoverability.

Leveraging StarWind Virtual Tape Library, you can use this technology as follows:

  • As a storage repository (data are stored on spinning disks or object storage arrays)
  • To offload virtual tapes to cloud storage

Where long retentions are required for your data, offloading to the cloud can enforce security and optimize costs.


Based on business requirements, there are two main configuration scenarios you can use VTL in your backup infrastructure:

  • All in one solution - backup software and VTL are installed in the same server with a connected repository. This configuration is easy to manage and valid for greenfield environments.
  • Existing systems - backup software installed in a VM while VLT is installed inside the physical server with Storage Repository connected. This setup allows a stronger security due to a more flexibility in configuring permissions.

In addition, for security reasons the VTL server should not be joined to the domain as well as the backup server.


To protect your data against ransomware attacks, configuring StarWind Virtual Tape Library in your backup infrastructure allows to implement a valid DR scenario and fitting the 3-2-1 backup rule.


StarWind Virtual Tape Library best practices

To obtain expected performance and a high level of security, it is important to limit potential bottlenecks and keep data secure.



The storage used to store VTL data should be configured with an all-flash disk configuration for best results in terms of RTO but a hybrid storage solution can guarantee huge space at a very low cost.

RAID 5, 50, 6 and 60 is the suggested configuration for VTL storage for data redundancy.



To optimize backup speed and process time, it is important to have a good network connection between the infrastructure and the VTL server.

Although 1 GB network could be enough for small data transfer, a 10 GB network is the recommended connection for best performance especially if large data must be transferred.

The use of a dedicated NIC and VLAN for the backup traffic can improve both performance and security.



To keep the highest level of security, it is strongly suggested to follow these recommendations:

  • VTL server not joined to the domain
  • Configure VTL to have one backup copy offsite
  • Keep both OS and antivirus updated
  • Use a different user to access the backup server
  • Use a dedicate service account for backup software services
  • Use CHAP to configure iSCSI connections in StarWind Virtual Tape Library
  • VTL should be located on a dedicated storage isolated from the production environment


Configuring both backup and VTL by following the best practices, results are maximized obtaining best performance and a higher security level of your data.


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