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Vol. 4 No. 2 April 2005

Pros and cons of VTLs

This article first appeared in "Storage" magazine in the April issue. For more articles of this type, please visit www.storagemagazine.com. What you will learn from this tip: For disk-to-disk backup, virtual tape libraries (VTLs) treat disk as tape and offer many advantages compared to disk-as-disk backup targets. But VTLs aren't perfect, and there some caveats about the technology that you need to know before implementing a VTL.   VTLs, which treat disk as tape, offer two main advantages over disk-as-disk backup targets: ease of management and better performance. A disk-as-disk target requires all of the usual provisioning steps of standard shared storage arrays. In contrast, if you tell a VTL how many virtual tape drives and virtual cartridges it should emulate, the VTL software automatically handles all of the provisioning and allocates the appropriate amount of disk to each virtual cartridge. If the VTL needs to be expanded (not all VTLs are expandable), you simply connect the additional storage, tell the VTL it's there and ...

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Features in this issue

  • Pros and cons of VTLs

    by  W. Curtis Preston

    VTLs aren't perfect, and this tip outlines some caveats about the technology that you need to know before implementing a VTL.

  • First Look: Crossroads Systems' DataMover 240f

    Crossroads Systems' DataMover 240f is a SAN edge device that takes on one of the most vexing backup bottlenecks by keeping data flowing through the network pipes.

  • Are SATA drives ready for the enterprise?

    SATA drives are great low-cost alternatives to pricey Fibre Channel and SCSI drives, but they lack the reliability and performance that mission-critical applications demand. But new technologies are bringing SATA up to enterprise-class standards.

  • Keep track of backups

    Backup reporting tools help track backup failures and determine their cause. Some tools can identify weak links in your backup processes where there's a potential for failure.

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