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Tech Report: Virtual tape libraries

Mark Lewis


Each month storage analyst Jerome Wendt's "Tech Report" takes a new look at a technology you may want to consider implementing. This tech report introduces you to virtual tape libraries (VTLs).

According to Wendt, "The new virtual disk interface gives storage administrators

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the ability to transparently choose between tape and disk as the primary backup target and to migrate data between the two using policies nestled within their backup software. The integration of disk and tape also frees users to replicate data during off-peak times to off-site disk arrays for disaster recovery purposes, and then transfer the data to tape to satisfy vaulting requirements."

Vendors from the traditional three-letter companies to infant start-ups are trying to capitalize on VTLs. Here Jerome takes a look at VTL technology and and in-depth look at the VTLs offered today.

TECH REPORT
   Webcast: Tape's love affair with disk
   Storage magazine extra: The skinny on all VTLs
   Additional information on VTLs

Webcast: There are two compelling reasons to deploy disk in front of tape libraries: better backup and recovery times and lower costs. Join Jerome Wendt for this webcast on tape libraries that integrate with disk, their benefits and the major players.

Click here for the original tech report from Storage magazine. This article also includes an easy to read chart of all the VTL products and their specs.

For more information about VTLs, take a look at these SearchStorage.com resources:

SD '04: Users look to VTLs for better backup
At Storage Decisions, a group of users discussed which vendors and technologies are solving nagging backup problems.

Airline cuts sky high costs with VTL
JetBlue Airways is keeping IT costs down by using a virtual tape library for disk-based backups.

Virtual tape offers first step toward disk-based backup
Maxxan Systems wants to make disk-based virtual tape libraries the de facto standard for backup and recovery -- and they're not alone.

Pick the right ATA array for backup
ATA disks are being used in backup with virtual tape library appliances (VTLs). VTLs consist of a RAID array, usually custom-built for the appliance, and some type of firmware or software.

Most users planning to use disk-based backups
Hundreds of users at the Storage Decisions conference are using disk-based backup technologies now or plan to implement them over the next 12 months.

White Paper: Improving Backup/Recovery: Tradeoffs of disk, tape and MAID strategies
Part of this white paper by W. Curtis Preston covers COPAN Systems' product, based on MAID architecture and a VTL personality, the first disk-based long-term storage subsystem that combines access, protection, and performance of disk with cost and scale of tape.

Q&A: Experts discuss disk-to-disk-to-tape


Have a question for Jerome Wendt about VTLs? E-mail Jerome with your questions.

What products or technologies would you like to see covered in a tech report? E-mail us and let us know.


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