Storage trio combine to launch remote backup platform

Compatibility with existing tape-based data archiving software and a need to reduce reliance on remote tape storage providers such as Iron Mountain are top of the agenda for the enterprise, claimed three of the leading storage technology providers as they launched a combined virtual tape platform for remote storage.

The new solution, announced at the Storage Networking World Europe conference comprises Fujitsu Siemens' CentricStor virtual tape appliance, combined with Mcdata'S Edge3000 storage routers and Decru's DataFort storage security appliance.

The solution, which has also undergone additional development work to optimise and integrate the products together, will allow companies to perform secure tape backup and disaster recovery operations over a standard IP wide area network (WAN) connection over distances of several thousand miles.

"Financial institutions, healthcare, manufacturing and the public sector are particularly vulnerable, especially if tape needs to be archived or moved to a remote or third-party operated location" said Dr. Helmut Beck, vice president of Fujitsu Siemens' storage division.

A major part of the software suite supplied with the platform focuses on information lifecycle management and managing the data retention process.

"One of the biggest issues with tape storage is managing and enforcing data retention strategies, but with virtual tape it is much easier to implement rules-based management of data retention or hand-off to conventional tape for data that requires longer-term archival" said Beck.

While virtual tape arrays are not a new product, the solution claims to differ by providing all the tools needed to situate the library remotely at long distance, and providing the necessary routing hardware and data encryption and volume validation to ensure that data is not damaged in transit by latency, and that the information being transferred and stored remains secure and compliant with data security policy.

Decru's parent company Network Appliance also has a secure virtual tape array using the Decru appliance, suggesting that the two may compete in the marketplace.

"We wanted to provide a solution that eliminates the need to physically transport tapes when backing up to a long-distance remote location, or multiple locations" said Raj Das, vice president of product marketing at McData. "The result is less downtime and a more secure backup process to protect critical data".