STK, Veritas team up for tape management standard
By Dave Simpson
StorageTek and Veritas Software last week announced a partnership they hope will lead to a standard method of managing removable storage devices. "We`re combining forces to drive a widely used standard for easier media and library management," says Mark Davis, vice president of marketing at STK`s multiplatform business group.
If adopted by other library and software vendors--and that`s still a big "if"--the standard would solve a common problem: Every time a library vendor introduces a new product, they have to get all the ISVs to rewrite their software for compatibility. That requirement is time-consuming and costly for both library manufacturers and software developers, and can lead to time-to-market delays.
The "standard" is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that would allow, for example, multiple backup applications to communicate to a tape library.
Another potential benefit is centralized library management and an associated reduction in total cost of ownership.
StorageTek plans to deliver a product, called Media Server (see diagram on p. 10), that implements the APIs. The software is based primarily on Veritas Media Librarian (VML) code--which is already OEM`d by such vendors as ADIC, ATL Products, Exabyte, and IBM--as well as STK`s ACS API. Any vendor`s library could participate in the shared library architecture, as long as it runs Library Control Program code.
Media Server can run on Unix or Windows NT, and will be compatible with Microsoft`s Removable Storage Manager (RSM), which was developed for Microsoft by HighGround Systems and is expected to become the standard for managing removable media devices in Windows 2000 environments.
"In small NT environments, you`d probably go with RSM, which comes free with Windows 2000, but if you have a large NT environment or an NT/Unix mix, our approach would make more sense," says Gary Lyng, group product manager at Veritas.