Backup Hardware

GOLD:  

For the price, it's hard to top Overland's Neo Series 4000
Overland Neo Series 4000
The words "tape" and "innovative" usually don't occupy space in the same sentence. But in the eyes of the editors and judges, the Overland Neo Series 4000 tape library couldn't seem to shake the words. The Neo sparked attention with its superior scalability and failover capabilities.

To get some of the specs out of the way - the Neo LXN4000 series libraries scale from one drive and 52 cartridges to 16 drives and 240 cartridges. The Neo LXN4000 series accommodates DLT8000, SDLT, SDLT320, LTO-1 and recently added support for LTO-2 drives. Clearly, this library option can accommodate enterprises forecasting widespread growth. The Neo also supports

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1Gb/s and 2Gb/s FC technology.

So where does the innovation come in? In a couple of areas, the Neo has features not readily available on tape libraries. For instance, the Neo is able to be remotely repaired on the fly. This allows administrators to find an error and fix it without bringing systems down and without tinkering with cabling.

Bob Abraham, President of Ojai, CA-based analyst firm Freeman Reports, says that the Overland series has some upscale features for a midrange product. Freeman points out that the Neo Series is attractive to midsized companies that have their eyes on growth. The Neo Series can accommodate this by economizing floor space with its rack design. This rack-and-stack feature allows anywhere from 4TB to 66TB and can write 115GB/hour to 1,840GB/hour.

Additionally, the Neo has a partitioning option that allows for virtual sublibraries. These sublibraries allow for a centralized point of management. Included in the ease of manageability is a touch-screen GUI. Software companies participating in the certification of Overland's Neo tape libraries range from Computer Associates, Legato, Veritas, Tivoli, BakBone, CommVault, Syncsort, Atempo, everStor, and LiveVault.

One of the only setbacks we could find with the Series 4000 was its lack of support for AIT. But for the price, anywhere from $22,500 for the low end and about $115,000 for the full boat, and the features you get, it's tough to top Overland's Neo Series 4000 for backup hardware needs.

SILVER:  

The two-drive, compact ADIC Scalar 24
ADIC Scalar 24
One of our judges summed up the ADIC Scalar 24 in one concise statement: "Using proven technology and the value of tape, this one is a ringer." If you're looking for value and performance, going with ADIC's Scalar 24 is a solid choice.

Scalar 24 allows small and midsized companies to get enterprise-level performance. IDC's Senior Research Analyst Robert Amatruda says the Scalar 24 addresses the needs of companies that want a high-density, low-cost library at an aggressive price.

ADIC offers this with one or two drives, with multiple tape technologies and the ability to integrate into a large SAN.

The Scalar 24 supports one or two LTO-1 or SDLT320 drives, and up to 24 tape cartridges for up to 64MB/s throughput and 6.8TB of capacity. At a starting price of about $12,500, this is value that's tough to beat.

BRONZE:   Quantum DX30
One of our judges didn't call the Quantum DX30 Enhanced Backup Solution "dead sexy" for nothing. You may want disk for backups and tape for restores, but how do you combine these technologies for the least disruption to your current backup procedures? Enter the DX30.

The disk-based DX30 emulates a tape library, making it easy to implement without changing your infrastructure or backup policies. Because it doesn't use an operating system, it backs up large blocks of data and achieve transfer speeds beyond 216Gb/hour, increasing the likelihood of successful backups and reducing restore time to less than 10 seconds. If floor space is a concern, no worries here. It packs 3TB capacity into two rack units.

The DX30 is the first of a family of products based on Quantum's Adaptive Disk Array Management Technology platform (ADAM), which enables high density and large data transfers without a lot of power consumption. One downside to the DX30: The list price for a fully configured DX30 is about $55,000, or about $16/GB - to which one of the judges exclaimed, "Gimme a break."

This was first published in January 2003

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