CNT crafts new architecture to aid long-distance tape backup

CNT has designed a better way to do long-distance backup over IP networks, it says. The company says it can eliminate the performance problems of remote tape backup through its UltraNet Edge Storage Router product.

Computer Network Technology Corp. has a new pipeline into the world of long-distance backup and recovery.

Using its UltraNet Edge Storage Router as a foundation, CNT, Minneapolis, Minn., has developed a remote tape backup and recovery architecture for open-systems environments which, CNT said, can operate over thousands of miles using IP networks.

The process, dubbed "tape pipelining," operates through the router and makes the remote tape backup system appear local to the server, enabling remote backup to occur at unlimited distances with little or no performance degradation. CNT said it has only successfully tested tape pipelining at distances under 2000 miles.

"The caching effect over long-haul IP [networks] lets CNT stream regardless of distance, in theory," said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst and founder of the Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass.

That means that remote tape backup can be used simultaneously with remote disk mirroring over the same IP network.

CNT says that its technology can free up network bandwidth and improve efficiency by performing synchronous disk mirroring by day and asynchronous tape backup by night when the bandwidth is underutilized.

Patty Barkley, CNT's storage networking market manager, said that the common practice of performing backups locally and trucking tapes to a remote storage facility is a laborious process.

"With the sequential nature of tape I/O, if you add any distance between the server and the tape, you lose performance," she said. "Tape pipelining allows backup over long distances with no drop-off."

CNT said that all models of its UltraNet Edge Storage Router will come standard with tape pipelining and disk mirroring capability. The tape pipelining capability will be available in the fourth quarter of 2002.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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