I liked your article on the Quantum DX-30, but was wondering why I would want to spend more money for a product that would provide the virtual tape backend and add all the problems of bottlenecks and streaming when I could just go with a backup product that would provide me with a virtual library function built into the software.
I'm talking about BakBone. The product has an outstanding Virtual Library APM that allows me to build tape libraries on disk. It's controlled all through the software and the user can't tell the difference between the real tape libraries and the virtual ones. Also, I could share these virtual drives through their DDS (Dynamic Drive Sharing) APM and provide shared storage to all servers. If I set up the SAN and the RAID/JBOD connectivity correctly then I would be able to get around the streaming issues.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this, if you have the time.
The simple answer to your question is that many people have a software product other than BakBone's NetVault and are quite happy with it. They would like to take advantage of these new virtual tape products but don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water. They're not going to switch to a different backup product just to get one feature that they can get by buying some other software.
I also don't agree with the phrase "and add all the problems of bottlenecks and streaming." I'm not sure what you are referring to, but it sounds like FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) to me. The DX-30 and other disk-based backup products like it will have no more or no less bottlenecks than your product backing up to disk. AND, they get all the same features that you describe without having to change backup products to get them. With their existing backup product, they can:
1. Control the robot through the software.
2. Can't tell the difference between the DX-30 or other competing products and the robot next to it.
3. Can share these virtual tape drives between servers.
None of what I've said above should be construed as comments against NetVault. They appear to be a fine product with built in virtual tape support and you've obviously had success with it and your customers or you wouldn't be reselling it. I don't agree, however, that someone should (or needs to) convert to BakBone simply for that one feature. If they did buy BakBone from the start, however, they would have it from the get go.
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This was first published in August 2002