VTL data management issues


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Backup software
The need to keep the backup software and VTL catalogs in sync for recovery from tape has led many VTL vendors to leave this responsibility to the backup software. Sepaton Inc. considered incorporating a tape management feature in its VTLs, but has abandoned that for now. "We found that most customers want the backup software to manage the creation and copy of physical tape copies in order to maintain backup catalog consistency," says Jay Livens, Sepaton's director of marketing.

Most VTLs appear only as a disk pool or a tape library to backup software, although some, like EMC Corp.'s and Spectra Logic Corp.'s, support backup software within their VTLs. With the EMC DL6000 Series VTLs, admins may configure multiple nodes to host EMC's NetWorker or Symantec's Veritas NetBackup (but not both), which operate as media managers; admins can install backup software directly onto Spectra Logic's nTier.

Jay Krone, EMC's director of Clariion platform marketing, finds that by placing the backup software inside the disk library the software always knows what's going on with the disk and physical tape. EMC took the additional step of more tightly integrating its EMC DL6000 management software with NetWorker and Veritas NetBackup so admins can manage physical tape creation and movement through the backup software or the DL6000's native VTL

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management interface. "In this configuration, no matter which way physical tapes are cloned and ejected, the backup software catalog always knows where they are," says Krone.

This was first published in December 2007

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