By: Clay Ryder, President, Sageza Group, Inc.
Published: 14th February 2008
Copyright Sageza Group, Inc. © 2008
Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) has announced a new version of its CentricStor Virtual Tape Appliance. Version 4 features dual-target save, which provides end users the choice of backing up data to either the VTA's disk-based cache or to tape as well as thin provisioning through flexible allocation of storage resources.
The latest version also expands service and maintenance functions, provides the basis for deduplication functionality, and targets the three major pain points that data protection managers face today including continued growth in data volume, increased data retention periods, and the need to support secondary data centers for enhanced disaster tolerance.
Version 4 features a substantial VTL cache (up to 1PB) with support for 1,500,000 logical volumes as well as intelligent data protection whereby end users specify which information should be automatically retained on disk and which should be saved to tape according to desired service level. In addition to existing maintenance services, FSC also offers enhanced proactive services such as Live Monitoring and Health Check which can include FSC monitoring of CentricStor systems with rules-based actions that can be taken automatically in the case of an error along with regular testing and pro active risk assessment. Customers are also offered service management for their complete data protection solution including servers and tape libraries. Pricing information was not disclosed.
The mantra of "tape is dead" continues to be heard throughout the marketplace; however, the reality of simple economics combined with a new "green" twist on tape illustrates how tape continues to enjoy a viable position in many organizations. With all the focus on eco-friendly IT, tape is able to rightly claim that when idle, its storage cartridges consume no energy whereas idle disks (unless powered off) consume some amount of power. While there are many advances in current disk technologies that have substantially reduced power consumption, for archival purposes tape can presently make the greener claim.
Given the astronomical rise in data volumes being stored, this is potentially a non-trivial saving especially for organizations that do not require frequent or instantaneous access to archived data. At the same time, the support for automatic backup of data whether to disk or tape based upon policy addresses a common need in organizations of most any size. This in conjunction with a larger ILM initiative can offer flexibility and overall efficiency gains with respect to data storage.
With this latest release of its CentriStor platform, FSC is demonstrating not only that it sees continued need for virtualized tape solutions, but that the capacity needed is growing as well. 1 petabyte of data is a lot, even if the organization is a Global 1000 enterprise. For the more modest of organizations commonly dubbed as SMBs this degree should meet or exceed their operational storage requirements handily. As such, FSC has a very large addressable market for this offering that, combined with the flexibility in storage approaches offered by CentriStor, places FSC in a desirable, if not enviable, marketplace position.
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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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