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E Copy in a SAN

E Copy, third-party copy, and what was once known as SCSI Copy are quickly becoming THE way to do backup of a storage area network (SAN).

Some things to know:

If the tape drive or TLU is SCSI: You are attaching to a Fibre-to-SCSI bridge. The functionality for E copy resides in the bridge, not the tape drive. As of 2/01, none of the bridge manufacturers we looked at supported E copy in the "off-the-shelf" configuration. A firmware and/or license upgrade is typically required.

If the tape drive or TLU is Fibre: You are attaching to an FC Switch. As of 2/01, two native FC tape drive types exist: Mammoth 2 and STK 9840. The FC tape drive has the functionality for E copy in drive firmware. If it doesn't, request a firmware upgrade from the tape drive manufacturer.

About the author: Brian McDonald is the project lead for Mid Range Backup and Restore at EMC Corporation in Westboro, Mass. He's also a former member of ANSI, and has spent the last 22 years designing or supporting data storage devices.

Lee Payne wrote:

Overland ( carries a line of Fibre to SCSI bridges called the SANPiper family (SP400 & SP1000) - we have been shipping for almost a year now. ALL SANPipers have the E copy function enabled off the shelf - making it a true plug and play Extended copy engine.

This was last published in January 2001

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