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Vol. 4 No. 7 September 2005

Standards watch: Copy services standard in the works

There may come a day when an array's snapshot or mirroring functionality will work with any storage management application right out of the box. At least, that's the promise of the Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) 1.1. "The goal of the SMI for 2005 was that all storage types would be managed by SMI-S, and we've achieved that," says Ray Dunn, chair for SNIA's Storage Management Forum and industry standards marketing manager at Sun Microsystems. Device types already managed by SMI-S include arrays, switches, tape libraries and host bus adapters. "Now that we can see all these devices," Dunn says, "the next thing is to move up the stack and begin to talk about providing storage services." Examples of services the SMI wants to tackle include copy and security services, and policy-based management. At an SMI Lab Plugfest this month, several SMI members, including EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM and Sun were slated to try out SMI-S 1.1's copy services ...

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Features in this issue

  • Use mainframes for backups

    You can put that big iron sitting in your data center to better use by using it to back up open-systems data, too. The net effect is a streamlined backup and disaster recovery operation.

  • Any-point-in-time backups

    by  Brad O'Neill

    Continuous data protection captures changes at a file- or block-level as they happen, and provides running recovery journals for all historical data states. This shifts data protection to a more flexible any-point-in-time framework.

  • Make tape libraries work with all platforms

    If tape libraries could share IT resources and data across all processing platforms, data center complexity and cost could be dramatically reduced.

  • Sizing up VTLs

    Virtual tape libraries present disk as tape, so backup apps can perform backups as usual, regardless of the physical backup infrastructure. Learn about hardware and software VTLs, the benefits of each and how they might fit into your backup operation.

  • Does host-based replication still make sense?

    Host-based replication is a mature technology, but it's often not considered an option for architectures that support quick recovery. But there are many cases where a host-based option may fit.

  • VTL remedies backup woes

    VTLs remedy tape bottlenecks...

  • Cisco's switch-based backup

    Serverless backup can take the load off servers and ease network traffic. Cisco uses Xcopy on its MDS 9000 switch for serverless backup; see how it compares to other methods and products.

  • Used tape sales on the rise

    by  Alex Barrett

    Pre-used tapes are becoming a popular and inexpensive trend among IT professionals. Become familiar with the possible risks of using used tape in your environment.

  • How disk has changed backup

    Inexpensive disk has spawned a variety of disk-based backup alternatives. But with more choices comes greater complexity compared to the days when you simply had to choose a backup application and tape library. Backup guru W. Curtis Preston explains the advantages of using disk for backup, including virtual tape libraries and disk-as-disk backup targets, and discusses the pros and cons of alternative disk-based backup methods.

Columns in this issue