Data access solutions provider McDATA has unveiled Virtual Tape Library (VTL), a disc-to-disc-to-tape system for backing up both disc and tape media.
The system is designed to enable firms to improve backup and restore performance and reliability while leveraging the current systems that they use. These factors become more pronounced in a tape environment, says McDATA, as the amount of data a company must store increases.
“Many companies are required to fulfil regulatory obligations that go beyond what tape can provide,” says Raj Das, vice president of product marketing at McDATA.
The company also believes that IT departments that use tape are limited in the amount of time they have to back up their data, with regulatory and corporate governance also contributing to larger amounts of data to protect and retain over longer periods of time. There is a possibility that these increasing amounts of data may lead to longer backup times that cannot be completed in the amount of time provided.
If a backup is not complete, data can be missed in the process and this exposes the company to possible litigation and regulatory risks; restoring performance and reliability is also a significant challenge as organisations attempt to recover from data dispersed onto multiple physical tapes.
As part of the effort to alleviate such concerns and help companies meet their backup and recovery objectives, McDATA has designed the VTL to emulate physical tape libraries and drives while using disc to improve backup and restore performance and reliability.
McDATA says that one key concern to address is to provide better accessibility in a reliable and secure fashion. The rationale for this is that tape is a linear media that cannot be randomly accessed and must be rewound; it is subject to moisture, dirt and other physical damage that can compromise its reliability. Tapes can also be easily lost or stolen from facilities increasing security risks. Plus, the complexity of recovery in a remote site combined with the inherent reliability and performance limitations of tape magnify the challenges.
VTL’s solution to improving reliability is to leverage any disc to emulate the physical tape media and performance. The company guarantees that VTL can attach to physical libraries to import and export backup data to/from physical tapes, allowing portability without changing the data format so that the backup software can still read the physical tape without the product. Furthermore, it can replicate backup data across IP to enable off-site copies of virtual tapes.
This was first published in September 2006