Sun Microsystems adds Solaris-based VTL

Sun Microsystems has added to its virtual tape lineup with the launch of the Sun/StorageTek Virtual Tape Library (VTL) Value System, a Solaris-based VTL for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The VTL Value System is Sun’s first storage product built on the company’s Sun Fire X4500 architecture, a general-purpose x64 server running dual-core Opteron processors that supports up to 24TB using SATA drives.

Sun’s entire VTL product family is powered by the Solaris OS and ZFS file system. The 128-bit ZFS provides storage pooling, RAID parity, check summing, and data integrity.

Pricing starts at $84, 995 for a 4U, 24TB configuration, including software, installation, and a two-year warranty.

End-user adoption of VTLs is ramping up rapidly. According to an InfoStor QuickVote reader poll earlier this year, 27% of the participants had already implemented at least one VTL, and another 36% planned to deploy VTLs by year-end.

Isilon expands clustered storage

Isilon recently released a larger clustered storage platform and new management software. The IQ 9000 and EX 9000 are high-density 2U nodes that use 12 750GB SATA-II drives from Seagate. The new software is called SmartQuotas and offers quota management and thin provisioning.

The difference in the IQ and EX versions has to do with whether a user requires more performance or more capacity. The IQ nodes have disks, an Intel Xeon CPU, 4GB of memory, and network connectivity (two front-end Gigabit Ethernet ports and two back-end InfiniBand ports). The EX products are expansion nodes that only contain physical storage.

Each 9000 platform provides 9TB of capacity. The IQ 9000, leveraging Isilon’s OneFS operating system software, provides linear scaling of both capacity and performance with the addition of each 2U node. The EX 9000, when paired with the IQ 9000, provides scaling of capacity independent of performance. The new configurations provide a 50% increase in storage density, with lower power and cooling usage per terabyte.

The other key highlights of Isilon’s announcement were 96-node clusters. Pairing a 96-node IQ 9000 with a 96-node EX 9000 provides 1.6PB in a single cluster and single file system.

SmartQuotas is priced at $1,950 per node. The IQ 9000 and EX 9000 systems are priced per node on a “pay-as-you-grow” basis, with prices ranging from $2,500 to $4,000 per terabyte.

LeftHand enhances thin provisioning

Enhanced thin provisioning is among the 20 new features added to Version 7 of LeftHand Networks’ SAN/IQ software.

The company hopes to differentiate its thin- provisioning implementation from a growing number of vendors that are offering the technology in two primary ways.

For one, LeftHand claims a capacity utilization rate of up to 97%. The second is the ability for users to automate administration functions, including a higher level of warning and alerts.

Another feature of SAN/IQ 7.0 is what the company refers to as a proactive self-healing SAN. LeftHand guarantees that its systems will read every block of data on the SAN at least every 28 days. When SAN/IQ finds an error, it can fix it by comparing it to a replica of the data.

Another aspect of keeping the SAN healthy is to maintain high performance over time. As a volume gets older and fills up, performance degrades. It could happen because it spans multiple LUNs or the SAN is fragmented, so LeftHand provides a drive defragmenter as well as a data-alignment feature that puts data in an optimum position for performance.

Pricing for SAN/IQ varies based on capacity, drive type (SAS or SATA), and other factors. But company officials say users can start with a SAN that includes thin provisioning, synchronous and asynchronous replication, management software, and 6TB of capacity for about $28,000.

Unitrends encrypts on backup appliances

Unitrends is tightening security on its backup appliances with the introduction of InCrypt, a security option that encrypts data stored on the company’s Data Protection Unit (DPU) and Data Protection Vault (DPV) systems.

InCrypt uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to secure backup data as it arrives from the network. All data is encrypted before it is processed or stored in memory or on disk, and the data remains encrypted while at rest on an on-site DPU or off-site DPV, in transit between the two systems, or on archive disks at remote locations.

The company claims that adding InCrypt will not impact system performance. By performing both compression and encryption on an integrated co-processor card, multiple reads/writes are avoided, and the throughput of InCrypt matches the overall performance of the server, network, and backup operations.

There are several obstacles to adoption when it comes to real-time encryption of data at the backup device, including performance hits, cost, and the complexity of key management. To combat key management headaches, Unitrends developed the InCrypt Key Management Table, which allows for periodic key changes and the simultaneous management of multiple keys. The Key Management Table operates without user interaction and provides pass-phrase and key management to protect against data loss. A single key provides access to all data and, as keys are refreshed or changed, all legacy keys are accessible through a new key, providing added protection from lost keys in long-term archives.

Unitrends’ existing customers can add InCrypt to DPU and DPV systems via a software update and installation of an encryption co-processor card. InCrypt is available through Unitrends’ resellers and is priced at $3,995 for a 2U appliance and $5,995 for 3U and 5U models.

Asigra targets VMs with 64-bit code

With all the companies scrambling to virtualize their servers onto fewer physical machines, Asigra says it has the answer to the complications that result from backing up the virtual machines.

The company claims that its agent-less Televaulting product is the first native 64-bit backup software for virtual machines.

According to Asigra officials, most backup-and- recovery software used today to protect virtualized server environments doesn’t provide the same level of capabilities unless some compromises are made, such as backing up the entire physical server versus individual virtual machines.

Televaulting allows a virtual machine to restore to a virtual machine. It can also back up from a physical machine and restore to a virtual machine, or back up from one physical machine to another. In addition, it can restore from one VM technology to another, such as from VMware to Virtual Iron or to Microsoft’s virtualization software.

Additional features of the 64-bit version of Televaulting include the following:

  • A pricing model based on the amount of compressed, de-duplicated data rather than on the number of servers;
  • Live VM backup, which allows administrators to back up virtual machines during production operations;
  • Centralized management of VM backup and recovery;
  • Compliance-ready VM backup with policy-based management, encryption, and near-instant recovery features for compliance with corporate policies and government regulations;
  • File-level recovery at the VM and guest OS level to extend mainstream backup abilities to virtual server environments; and
  • Bare-metal recovery.

Yosemite teams with Double-Take

Yosemite Technologies and Double-Take have partnered to provide “core-to-edge” data protection by combining their data-protection and replication technologies. Storage administrators who implement Yosemite’s FileKeeper notebook/desktop data- protection solution with Double-Take’s real-time data replication will be able to protect data assets wherever those assets reside.

FileKeeper can back up data from laptops to servers, where it is then protected by Double-Take software. Double-Take continuously captures byte-level changes on the server and replicates the changes to one or more target servers.

Pricing for FileKeeper is $2,995 to 3,995 per seat. Double-take is priced at $2,995 per server.

Aptare adds capacity planning

Aptare is enhancing its backup reporting and predictive analysis software into a platform for overall storage reporting.

StorageConsole Platform 6.5 provides integrates backup reporting and storage capacity management. The software gives administrators access to the status of their backups and the ability to run reports to check on storage capacity and utilization.

The software initially supports two applications: the new StorageConsole Capacity Management application, which gives storage administrators insight into the variance between allocated and used storage, and provides predictive analysis for future forecasting, and a new version of Aptare’s StorageConsole Backup Management module, which now includes support for HP Data Protector and Symantec Backup Exec 11D backup environments, in addition to existing support for EMC Legato NetWorker, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, and Veritas NetBackup and BackupExec.

The sole focus of prior versions of Storage- Console was peering into the backup process. Aptare’s addition of capacity planning capabilities is the first step in the company’s road map toward a more comprehensive storage resource management (SRM) platform.

Aptare also announced an upgrade to the enterprise storage management platform itself. The Aptare StorageConsole platform, which serves as the development foundation for the products, makes use of new Web 2.0 features, such as drag-and-drop reports, tabbed browsing, and report collaboration.

A Capacity Management starter kit, which is licensed to view and report on up to 50TB of capacity, is priced from $20,000. A Backup Management starter kit with 50 client licenses is priced from $15,000.

Overland VTL features SAS

Replacing the Overland REO 4000 line of virtual tape libraries (VTLs), the REO 4500 is based on a Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) controller and up to 27TB of capacity, and support for six VTLs, 32 virtual tape drives, and 512 virtual cartridges.

Other features include dual 4Gbps Fibre Channel and iSCSI host connections, RAID 5, and hot-swappable power supplies. Pricing starts at $18,177.

InMage CDP supports Linux

InMage Systems has added a Linux VX Client for its DR-Scout disaster-recovery and business continuity software, which provides continuous data protection (CDP) functionality. The software supports RedHat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, SuSE Enterprise Linux 9 and 10, MySQL, and Oracle. DR-Scout includes application-consistent fail-over, one-to-many replication, fail-over/failback, and event-based recovery.

Horizon DataSys protects Windows

Horizon DataSys’ RollBack Rx Pro 8.0 is Windows-based data-protection software that provides real-time recovery for desktops and laptops with CDP functionality based on snapshots.

The software takes snapshots of a hard drive in one to three seconds via a technology dubbed “incremental mapping,” storing up to 60,000 snapshots that take place at pre-determined times. A base version and enterprise versions are priced at $59.95 and $79.95, respectively.

MicroNet RAID supports e-SATA

MicroNet’s Blackbird RAID array has four SATA drive bays for up to 4TB of capacity, eSATA-300 support with native command queuing (NCQ), and 16MB of buffer cache. The company claims read performance of up to 240MBps and write performance of up to 200MBps. Pricing starts at $599 for a 1TB configuration with a PCI-X card.

Coraid virtualizes AoE

Coraid has introduced a virtualization appliance for the open-source ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol. The EtherDrive VS21 VirtualStorage Appliance and Logical Volume Manager provide fabric-based virtualization by performing block address translation with redirection to create up to 255 logical volumes. EtherDrive physical volumes (RAID volumes) are assembled into Volume Groups, which are divided into chunks called “Extents.” Logical Volumes are created by allocating Extents from a Volume Group. The VS21 also provides volume replication/mirroring and snapshots. Price: $2,995.

Coraid also announced support for 10Gbps Ethernet in two new RAID appliances in the company’s EtherDrive product family. The appliances can be configured with 16 or 24 SATA drives (including 1TB versions).

The company claims sustained performance of more than 500MBps. The 16-drive SR1661 is priced at $8,995, and the 24-drive SR2461 is priced at $10,995.

This article was originally published on September 01, 2007