Hedge Canister for Windows Released – LTO Backup Made Easy

November 1st, 2023 Jump to Comment Section
Hedge Canister for Windows Released - LTO Backup Made Easy

Hedge is a software brand that specializes in solutions to simplify video workflows. Canister is one of them – an archive and backup platform for LTO drives with a user-friendly interface. Initially launched for macOS, Hedge has just released their version for Windows. Let’s check it out!

LTO (Linear Tape-Open) is a magnetic tape data storage technology developed by IBM, HP, and Quantum in the late 90’s. LTO is a high-capacity, low-cost solution for long-term backups, and it is used widely in archives, data centers, etc.

In the video industry, LTO drives are a convenient solution for long-time storage and backup due to their reliability and durability (15 to 30 years). Unlike hard drives and SSDs, they are not affected by magnetic fields, and they are also easy to transport and store. Conversely, they are slower for video workflows and must be stored properly to avoid temperature changes, dust, etc.

Canister as a solution for LTO users

Back then, LTO drives required some knowledge due to the software’s complex interface, forcing users to open apps like Terminal or PowerShell to make things work. Things changed when, in 2017, the guys at Hedge got an email from Roger Mabon asking if they could do for LTO drives what they had done for backups. Thanks to that email, they learned about LFO drives; they discovered Mabon was the founder of mLogic (and before that, G-Technology), and together with Keith Warburton of Symply, they developed Canister. LTO users finally had a nice-looking drag-and-drop interface that simplified their workflow. Canister manages standalone LTO drives and supports the latest LTFS drivers. It also makes direct-to-tape transfers possible.

Canister offers a friendly interface for LTO backups – Source: Hedge

Canister for Windows, programming from scratch

One of the critical aspects of Hedge’s philosophy is not to force users to use a specific brand. Hedge wants them to have the flexibility to select which operating system and computer they want to use. That is why they also offer all their products in Windows – to avoid vendor lock-in. We covered their product line-up, including Cannister for Mac, at IBC 2022 and at NAB 2023, in an interview with Hedge founder Paul Matthijs Lombert, and their transition – and caught up again with him at IBC 2023 recently (see below).

Canister for Windows has been programmed specifically, instead of sharing codes with the macOS version. The benefit of programming in a different code is that it opens new doors for improvement. Then, these advancements can be incorporated into the macOS version in upcoming updates.

The Connect app is also available for Canister now. Users can track all their transfers’ progress live, and receive notifications when the tasks finish, giving them peace of mind and freedom to move away from the computer. The only missing features in this new version are Spanning and support for simultaneous transfers.

Finally, support for new and upcoming LTO drives will be available in the following updates.

Canister features in macOS and Windows versions – Source: Hedge

Price and availability

You can download a Canister 10-day trial, without limitations, for Windows and macOS from Hedge’s website here. New Canister licenses are now macOS and Windows-compatible, retailing for $399. If you have a previous Canister license and want to add the Windows version, you can upgrade here.

What do you think about LTO drives for long-term storage? Have you used this technology or Canister to store your projects? Let us know in the comments!

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