Virtual tape libraries: Five tips in five minutes

This tip takes a look at the recent rise in interest in virtual tape libraries and offers a collection of tips and expert responses to reader queries.

What you will learn from this tip: This tip takes a look at the recent rise in interest in virtual tape libraries and offers a collection of tips and expert responses to reader queries.

Virtual tape libraries (VTLs) offer a number of advantages over traditional tape backup and disk-to-disk-to-tape.

It's likely that the most appealing of these benefits to storage administrators is that VTLs offer faster backups and restores, as the demand grows for shorter and shorter recovery times.

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Integrate a virtual tape library with real tape

Another benefit is their simplicity. Since VTLs treat disk as tape, administrators can use all of the scheduling procedures already in place for tape, making VTL implementation relatively painless.

Significant reduction to near elimination of tape media handling is also a major draw, according to Pierre Dorion, Certified Business Continuity Professional with Mainland Information Systems Inc. Decreasing tape handling greatly reduces the chance of damaging or losing media. "This is especially great for small or remote offices that don't have in-house skills or resources, but it is also a good fit for large installations," says Dorion. He also cites lower cost and reduced footprint (for smaller installations) as another reason for the increased popularity of VTLs.

Recently there has been a lot of interest in VTLs among SearchStorage.com readers. Click on the links below to learn more about this technology.

  • Three steps for evaluating a VTL product
    This tip offers three helpful steps for evaluating a VTL, virtual tape system or disk library and a template that can be used for comparison evaluations.
  • Pros and cons of converting to VTL
    Backup expert W. Curtis Preston outlines the pros and cons of converting to VTL.
  • Virtual tape libraries: No pain, much gain
    Virtual tape libraries make the move to disk-to-disk backup or archiving much simpler, but become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages before making your move.
  • Virtual tape evolves to survive
    This tip explains how VTLs work and what they are useful for. It also explores changes currently occuring in the VTL world.
  • Disaster recovery approaches for your VTL
    It's possible for you to leverage your virtual tape library (VTL) to support business continuance (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) products. Learn how a VTL can be an integral part of a data protection strategy to support BC and DR.
  • Do you know…

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    This was first published in May 2006

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