VTL data management issues


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Virtual tape director
Fujitsu Siemens Computers' CentricStor and Gresham Enterprise Storage Solutions' Clareti VTL are virtual tape directors that are a subset of the broader class of VTLs. Like other VTLs, they virtualize and present disk as virtual tape cartridges, but they also virtualize external physical tape libraries and even other VTLs. Residing in the backup data path, virtual tape directors aggregate a firm's physical and virtual tape resources to present a single backup target or mount point to the backup software (see "Consolidating VTLs," below).

Consolidating VTLs
Owners of virtual tape libraries (VTLs) are experiencing some of the same frustrations that early adopters of NAS filers experienced, with "Loved the first, hated the third" a common sentiment. As companies add to the number of VTLs they deploy and start to consolidate them, VTLs that can manage disk and tape offer a couple of new ways to consolidate.

Treat existing VTLs as backup targets. VTLs that host backup software can treat external VTLs as another backup target just like a physical tape library. Although the storage on new and old VTLs can't be aggregated,

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this capacity isn't wasted.

Virtualize the VTL. VTLs that double as virtual tape directors, such as Fujitsu Siemens Computers' CentricStor and Gresham Enterprise Storage Solutions' Clareti VTL, can virtualize the interface on existing VTLs. Administrators only need to configure the backup software to interface with one VTL, the virtual tape director, which controls all of the other devices behind it.

This was first published in December 2007

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