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Optimizing Backup and Recovery with Next Generation VTL Solutions

Disk technologies are faster and inherently more reliable than tape, making it an ideal backup method for restoring recently lost files or accelerating disaster recovery efforts. Technological advancements have also made D2D backup an even more compelling value proposition.

However, tape still plays a critical role in backup and recovery efforts, especially when it comes to data retention and archival.

Fortunately, with the emergence of VTL's, you can get the best of both worlds - the advantages of high-speed disk technologies for expediting backup processes while benefiting from the portability and security of tape for longer-term, offline storage.

When used together, VTL and tape-based backup yield optimal data protection with improved performance, streamlined operations and increased reliability.

Disk-based backup is gaining market momentum as an economical and highly effective way toreduce backup windows and boost recovery timeframes while ensuring compliance with mounting regulations and corporate governance demands. Since disk technology is faster and inherently more reliable than tape, it's an ideal nearline backup method for restoring recently lost files or accelerating disaster recovery efforts. In addition, new iSCSI disk-based solutions and the emergence of inexpensive SATA (Serial ATA) drives have lowered overall costs, leading to an even morecompelling value proposition for disk-to-disk (D2D) backup and recovery.

Disk drives offer direct random access, enabling multiple concurrent backup sessions and read/ write efficiency improvements. The resulting productivity gains and lowered operating expense can lead to significant time and cost savings. In comparison, tape technology, which uses sequential access, is much slower. Still, tape plays a vital role in backup and recovery operations, especially when it comes data retention and archival.

A virtual tape library (VTL) offers the best of both worlds: the advantages of high-speed disk technologies for expediting backup processes while benefiting from the portability and security of tape for longer-term, offline storage. When used together, VTL and tape-based backup yield optimal data protection with improved performance, streamlined operations and increased reliability. BakBone Software Inc. has capitalized on this capability with its VTL plug-in module for NetVault: Backup, which lets administrators design any number of customized virtual tape libraries, each with its own specific number of tape drives, slots and sizes to meet particular requirements. BakBone has applied the same paradigm and nomenclature used with physical tape libraries (e.g., drives, mediapools, rotation cycles, etc.) to streamline overall management.

NetVault backup software by BakBone is available in all Scalable NAS Storage Solutions from Snap Server by Adaptec.

Since NetVault: Backup treats the VTL like a physical tape library, it doesn't require different or additional administration. BakBone's VTL supports full, incremental and differential backups while integrating seamlessly with real tape library resource management. In addition, the direct-access restore feature simplifies overall operation by supporting file restores from disks or tapes withoutany disk re-staging. The increasing popularity of BakBone's VTL has led to the development of a next-generation solution, NetVault: Backup's shared virtual tape library (SVTL). SVTL enablesadministrators to create and share a VTL with multiple NetVault: Backup machines for extended functionality, higher performance D2D backup and even faster restores.

NetVault: Backup Virtual Tape Library

What is a virtual Tape Libarary (VTL)?

A VTL is a built-in tape emulation feature that gives disk storage the “look and feel” of a tape library with the added benefits of greater speeds, reduced costs and sophisticated media management capabilities. A VTL lets an administrator “virtualize” a tape resource on disk. With BakBone's capability, the VTL structure and backup data are stored on top of the file system host, which can be a NetVault: Backup server or any other heterogeneous NetVault: Backup Client Node licensed as a Smart Client. A NetVault: Backup domain can host one or more VTLs, and a host can own one or more VTLs. A VTL can be used independently of the file system (e.g., NTFS, UFS, ext3, etc.) as well as the disk system (e.g., IDE, RAID, SCSI, Fibre Channel, DAS or iSCSI). Both file- and block-level backups and restores are supported. When acting as a tape library, a VTL can host one or more client backups connected through a local area network (LAN). The media manager doesn't distinguish between a VTL and a physical tape library, which simplifies the process of setting specific backup policies, including retention dates, rotation schemes and media groups. Save sets can be accessed wherever they reside and incremental backups can be sent to disk for ultra-fast restores. With BakBone's VTL strategy, tape becomes a crucial component of a broader data protection strategy— rather than its primary ingredient.

With NetVault: Backup, multiple copies of backup jobs can be created from the VTL to tape or vice versa. By storing backup data on a VTL, administrators can run data copy or duplication jobs offline, without impacting network, application server or workstation performance. VTLs eliminate the mechanical penalties of tape backup over a network, such as “shoe-shining,” or a slow data-stream host. VTLs capture data—whether it's trickled, blasted, or gently passed along—and saves it on virtual media slots as a “saveset.” Ultimately, this method of capturing data produces substantial performance improvements while slashing backup windows dramatically........

Click Here for the detailed pdf of VTL - Next Generation Solutions optimizing disk to disk.

 

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