Choosing the right VTL


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VTL storage appliances
Several vendors integrate FalconStor's VirtualTape Library software for their VTL appliance, including Copan Systems and EMC. However, these two vendors add their own software features to their VTL products. For instance, EMC includes an Active Engine Failover feature in its Clariion Disk Library (DL) 700 line that allows the backup job to fail over from one controller to the other without restarting the backup job.

Copan's Revolution 220T and 220TX embed FalconStor's VTL software into their controllers and use it with Copan's Disk Aerobics software. Disk Aerobics manages Copan's massive array of idle disks (MAID) technology that reduces power and cooling costs by powering down disk drives when they're not in use.

NetApp's NearStore VTL600 and VTL1200 VTL storage appliances integrate NetApp's VTL software (obtained with its acquisition of Alacritus Software in 2005) with its Data Ontap OS. One of the benefits of this integration is its "self-tuning" feature. This allows the VTL software, through its integration with the Data Ontap OS, to directly communicate with the back-end disk and see all available LUNs. It can then ascertain which LUN will provide the highest performance and assign the backup stream to that LUN. It then monitors the incoming backup stream and checks with the operating system after every 1GB of data to see if the backup stream should be redirected to another LUN that will provide better performance.

This was first published in August 2006

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