There has been a virtual virtual tape library frenzy recently with Diligent, FalconStor and Sepaton all introducing new products. At the same time, the NAS frenzy has possibly climaxed. After NetAPP and IBM got together, NetApp introduced its V-Filer and HDS told us about its TagmaStore NAS blade and NAS market entry - after all this in a packed week or so, EMC has replied with a big NAS box. Let's start with the tape libraries and then look at NAS.

Diligent and NexSan have produced a combination of Diligent's VTF Open software and Nexsan's SATA/ATA-based disk arrays. The existing backup products and procedures can be used virtually unchanged - the backup files just go the VTL on disk rather than to a real tape library.

The backup app accesses drives, robotics and cartridges with Diligent's VTF software as it would a physical tape library. Because the data actually gets stored on Nexsan ATA-based disk, users experience dramatic improvements to the backup and recovery operation speed. VTF provides 2:1 compression, like a tape drive, so the amount of disk needed is less than you may think.

FalconStor has been driving its PR department hard with a resulting blizzard of announcements:

  • It has introduced the next version of its VirtualTape Library product. This adds support for StorageTek's Automated Cartridge System Library Software (ACSLS), IBM 3583 Library and 3580 drives for IBM iSeries, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0, and tape library caching.
  • FalconStor's IPStor Enterprise Edition, VirtualTape Library, and iSCSI Storage Server solutions have been tested with, and will support Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator version 2.0.
  • IPStor Enterprise Edition and VirtualTape Library are to support Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (which supports the Linux 2.6 kernel).
  • FalconStor's VTL solution has been qualified with BakBone Software's NetVault, CommVault's Galaxy, Computer Associates' BrightStor ARCserve Backup, EMC Legato's NetWorker, HP OpenView Storage Data Protector and Veritas' Backup Exec.

Sepaton has produced its S2100-ES2 next-generation VTL, this time using Intel Xeons. Sepaton's first S2100-ES product used proprietary gear. It can grow to 1PB capacity - the first one maxed out at 200TB and can backup 4.3TB in an hour. The S2100-ES2 can emulate a variety of tape libraries from StorageTek, Quantum, ADIC, IBM, and others, up to 64 tape libraries at once in fact (only 16 before). Pricing starts at under $60,000 for a fully-configured appliance. Pricing thereafter is based on capacity, performance and restore options.

And now on to the NAS:

EMC has announced its high-end Celerra NSX NAS system. Pretty much as expected it offers up to 8 blades and 300,000 NFS operation per second. There can be 16TB of capacity per blade giving a maximum capacity of 112TB. It has a virtual file system technology. A four-X-Blade Celerra NSX system has a list price of $278,250 (£155,000). This includes dual management stations, dual uninterrupted power systems (UPS), the CIFS protocol, EMC Celerra SnapSure for local replication, and EMC Celerra Manager for web-based management. EMC claims it's the fastest NAS in the world

Storactive sent Techworld a note about its continuous data protection product: "Storactive, like Revivio and TimeSpring, also provides continuous backup… something MS just can’t do. One of our products provides CDP for Windows desktops/laptops. The other product provides granular CDP for MS Exchange servers. Our LiveServ for Exchange software eliminates the vulnerabilities associated with scheduled backup systems and utilizes its point-in-time rollback capabilities for instant restoration of individual data objects, such as a message or contact, while Exchange is running."

"The power of LiveServ’s unique point-in-time rollback capability pays off during virus attacks. After updating your virus definitions to deal with the new attack vector, you use LiveServ to restore your Exchange server to the moment prior to the attack, and then restore mailboxes to the current time (with your updated AV preventing re-infection)."

That's not feasible with Microsoft's DPM.