New tape OS covers the spectrum of storage networking

A tape manufacturer says its new TAOS can consolidate backups over existing LANs without having to bother with a dedicated backup server.

Spectra Logic is taking the backup server out of the loop.

The Boulder, Colo., tape library manufacturer claims that with its new TAOS (Tape Appliance Operating System) library products for IP storage environments, IT administrators can now consolidate backups over their existing LAN infrastructure without deploying a dedicated backup server.

"You no longer have to hang a server on the network to attach a library," said Bill Reed, vice president marketing and business development Spectra Logic. Reducing the hardware component of the solution eliminates the management load, he said.

Spectra Logic said TAOS- equipped tape libraries can leverage existing Gigabit Ethernet networks for shared tape library storage while retaining the option of adding Fibre Channel SAN connectivity in the future.

"We can now support both forms of storage networking," said Reed.

TAOS-enabled Spectra 64000 and 12000 library models are native Gigabit Ethernet tape libraries and, according to the company, the Spectra 2000 model, a workgroup-level library, is shipping with a 100BaseT Ethernet interface option.

TAOS supports either file or block-level transactions through both Fibre Channel and Ethernet interface options. Standards supported in TAOS include Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) for NAS appliance backup and iSCSI for block-level SCSI-over-IP data transfers.

The trend toward higher network storage capacities is stimulating demand for enhanced tape capabilities, said Robert Abraham, president of Ojai, Calif.-based Freeman Reports. High capacity tape drives ? sometimes freestanding, but more often in a changer or library environment ? extend the dimensions of tape storage in a network, he said.

Abraham said development of NAS and SAN is fueling compact tape drive sales. Especially for midrange open systems.

TAOS-equipped libraries are available now. The 100BaseT module is priced at $1,000 and the GigE is priced at $9,400.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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