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Is transparent data movement the key to ILM?

This week: Can you have an ILM strategy without transparent data movement? This news roundup also covers disk-based backup for IP SANs and a new market for Exabyte's VXA-2 tape technology.

Rainfinity, San Jose, Calif., extended the transparent data movement capabilities of its RainStorage data mover product this week to address what the company calls "file system information lifecycle management" (ILM). Rainfinity has added a feature to RainStorage called GridSwitch, which acts as a layer-2 switch with file system intelligence to perform transparent data movement.

Rainfinity's goal is to integrate RainStorage with third party storage resource management (SRM) tools.

"We're taking SRM solutions and applying them to an information lifecycle management strategy," said Jack Norris, Rainfinity's vice president of marketing. "I don't think anyone's claiming that ILM is here, but you have SRM tools focused on monitoring and reporting today. We're taking those policies and allowing them to act," he said.

The discovery capabilities of SRM tools give Rainfinity the ability to match data with an underlying storage system. "A policy engine is the building block that takes the action based on that discovery. You need transparent data movement to perform any ILM functions," said Norris.

GridSwitch is built on an underlying XML/RPC engine and does not require changes to end-user mount points or the deployment of software agents on servers or applications. GridSwitch provides for integration with management consoles and automated policies driven from ILM, SRM or grid computing architectures by plugging into existing consoles to expand monitoring and reporting functions for transparent data movement. The system supports IP-based storage networks including NAS, Windows, and UNIX file servers.

GridSwitch provides external control over data movement at the volume, directory, and subdirectory level, allows third party tools to move RainStorage in and out-of-band in response to business events and IT environment triggers. RainStorage supplies status reports on the state of transactions, data location, and visibility into the number, identity and access path of users.

Is transparent data movement critical to your ILM strategy? Research the technology in our White Paper archive.

Startup offers disk-to-disk backup for IP SANs

This week StoneFly Networks Inc., San Diego, Calif., combined its Storage Concentrator i3000 product with backup and recovery software from CommVault Systems to create the StoneFly Backup Advantage IP SAN-based disk-to-disk backup appliance.

Available in March, StoneFly Backup Advantage is an IP SAN that includes a StoneFly Storage Concentrator i3000 with storage provisioning, CommVault backup and recovery software, and 1TB of storage capacity with pricing starting at $29,795.

The Backup Advantage product offloads backup and restore operations from a local area network onto a dedicated Ethernet IP SAN. Backup Advantage was designed for IP SAN environments with up to 12 servers. Integrated IP SAN functionality adds logical volume management and improved storage utilization. In addition, StoneFly Backup Advantage increases performance and near-term data availability by replicating backups to remote IP SAN using StoneFly Replicator mirroring software.

StoneFly's vice president of marketing and business development Bob Boggan said his company is still "living on venture capital funding, but is very optimistic about the IP SAN market for 2004. We wanted to put forth to [users] all of the advantages of Fibre Channel SANs and mitigate their complexity. We also wanted to include serial ATA disk drives for low-cost, disk-based backups and restores," Boggan said.

Research disk-to-disk backup in's resource guide to disk-based backup.

VXA-2 tape enters government markets

Tape backup specialist Exabyte Corp., Boulder, Colo., has joined forces with GTSI Corp, a government information technology solutions provider, to market Exabyte's VXA-2 storage solutions to GTSI's network of federal, state and local government customers. GTSI will sell Exabyte's VXA-2 PacketLoader and Packet Tape Drives. The Exabyte VXA-2 PacketLoader offers ten 160 GB cartridge slots for up to 1.6 TB of backup capacity at a transfer speed of up to 43.2 GB/hr for less than $2,800.

Read more about Exabyte's VXA-2 technoloy.

Snapshot technology comes to IP SANs

On Monday, SANRAD Inc. released version 2.0 of StoragePro Services for its V-Switch family of IP SAN products. The StoragePro enhancements for the V-Switch family provide data duplication and protection features and security and discovery options. The new release includes features such as snapshot, DataCloning, FastCopy and support for RADIUS authentication. With StoragePro 2.0, users can also copy data between volumes, devices or storage systems at up to 1 TB per hour with FastCopy, and use FC UltraPathing to load-balance or reroute IP traffic over multi-pathed FC storage architectures.

New security and discovery enhancements in version 2.0 include RADIUS support to authenticate a secure iSCSI connection, iSNS and SLP iSCSI client support to ensure iSCSI target discovery for continuous data access, and an enhanced Access Control List (ACL) to securely bind and set read/write policies for individual storage volumes to a single host or group of hosts.

SANRAD StoragePro IP SAN management software is bundled with every SANRAD V-Switch and requires no host agents or special licenses.

See why the SANRAD V-Switch 3000 won the bronze medal for best storage networking product of the year.

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