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Vol. 4 No. 7 September 2005

Cisco's switch-based backup

Cisco's switch-based backup Cisco Systems inc. recently announced its Fibre Channel (FC) MDS 9000 Storage Services Module (SSM) and SAN-OS 2.1 software--which includes support for Xcopy, or Extended Copy--to enable Network Accelerated Serverless Backup (NASB). With serverless backup, the server is removed from the backup process so it doesn't become a performance and reliability bottleneck. Xcopy has been around for quite a while and is part of the SCSI command set, intended to enable copying data from one storage device to another without passing the data through a server. The notion of serverless backup is attractive because it offers faster backup speeds, lower server loads and less LAN traffic. Still, Xcopy hasn't been widely embraced by users. Users found that without backup software support, serverless backup had many problems that Xcopy didn't address (and still doesn't). What Cisco has done that's different from the Xcopy support built into other storage products is to make deals with backup software vendors to support ...

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Features in this issue

  • Use mainframes for backups

    You can put that big iron sitting in your data center to better use by using it to back up open-systems data, too. The net effect is a streamlined backup and disaster recovery operation.

  • Any-point-in-time backups

    by  Brad O'Neill

    Continuous data protection captures changes at a file- or block-level as they happen, and provides running recovery journals for all historical data states. This shifts data protection to a more flexible any-point-in-time framework.

  • 10 basic steps for better backup

    The most evident common denominator in well-functioning backup infrastructures is effective process and control. This checklist highlights 10 areas you should focus on to build a better backup practice.

  • Make tape libraries work with all platforms

    If tape libraries could share IT resources and data across all processing platforms, data center complexity and cost could be dramatically reduced.

  • Sizing up VTLs

    Virtual tape libraries present disk as tape, so backup apps can perform backups as usual, regardless of the physical backup infrastructure. Learn about hardware and software VTLs, the benefits of each and how they might fit into your backup operation.

  • Does host-based replication still make sense?

    Host-based replication is a mature technology, but it's often not considered an option for architectures that support quick recovery. But there are many cases where a host-based option may fit.

  • VTL remedies backup woes

    VTLs remedy tape bottlenecks...

  • Cisco's switch-based backup

    Serverless backup can take the load off servers and ease network traffic. Cisco uses Xcopy on its MDS 9000 switch for serverless backup; see how it compares to other methods and products.

  • Used tape sales on the rise

    by  Alex Barrett

    Pre-used tapes are becoming a popular and inexpensive trend among IT professionals. Become familiar with the possible risks of using used tape in your environment.

  • How disk has changed backup

    Inexpensive disk has spawned a variety of disk-based backup alternatives. But with more choices comes greater complexity compared to the days when you simply had to choose a backup application and tape library. Backup guru W. Curtis Preston explains the advantages of using disk for backup, including virtual tape libraries and disk-as-disk backup targets, and discusses the pros and cons of alternative disk-based backup methods.

Columns in this issue

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