By Kevin Komiega
This month, IBM added native replication capabilities to its family of ProtecTIER virtual tape library (VTL) appliances in an effort to extend data deduplication to remote disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) operations.
The company is offering a replication option for all new and existing ProtecTIER appliances that, when combined with data deduplication, can curb the high costs associated with transmitting and storing data in DR environments.
Using ProtecTIER's patented deduplication technology, only unique data is sent across the network, enabling users to transmit large amounts of data using minimal bandwidth.
Replicated virtual tape cartridges can then be cloned to physical tape at remote sites to eliminate the need to transport physical tapes.
The ProtecTIER appliances use IBM's HyperFactor data deduplication technology to reduce storage capacity requirements by 25X or more, according to company officials. The systems are capable of storing up to 1PB of physical data (25PB logical) with performance of up to 1,000MBps of sustained inline deduplication.
Victor Nemechek, offering manager for IBM's ProtecTIER product line, calls the addition of native replication the "biggest improvement" IBM has made to ProtecTIER since it acquired Diligent Technologies in 2008.
Until now, ProtecTIER customers have been relegated to using array-based replication or third-party tools to move data for disaster recovery purposes.
"Adding native replication capabilities into the ProtecTIER base code makes it a lot easier to automatically transmit data to an offsite location," says Nemechek.
He claims that embedded replication is more efficient than third-party or array-based approaches.
"Customers will get better performance with native replication because array-based replication required users to replicate all of the virtual tapes in the entire repository. Our technology allows you to replicate any subset of the data," says Nemechek.
Native replication for ProtecTIER appliances is available as an optional software license. Replication will ship with all new ProtecTIER appliances and existing customers using the TS7650G ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway or TS7650 ProtecTIER Deduplication Appliance can turn the feature on through a software patch.
List pricing for ProtecTIER replication is $2,000/TB of usable capacity.