Storage UPDATE: Tandberg Data's Bundled Data-Protection Solution

Contents:
-Storage Viewpoint: Tandberg Data Wraps NAS, Backup Technologies into One Solution
-News from the Industry: Lucid8 Helps Sites Protect and Archive Exchange Data
-New and Improved
- Control Multiple Pools of Storage in a Single SAN
- More Backup Options For SMBs and Enterprises

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==== 1. Storage Viewpoint: Tandberg Data Wraps NAS, Backup Technologies into One Solution ====
by David Chernicoff, david@windowsitpro.com

Over the last year, I've talked quite a bit about the availability of online, nearline, and offline backup solutions and the different advantages these solutions bring to the business user. I get a fair amount of email from readers asking for more information about the various solutions I've mentioned in this commentary, but recently I've been getting more questions about the availability of out-of-the-box solutions that combine the multiple technologies I've discussed.

Smaller businesses are looking to do the same sort of online to nearline to offline data protection that's regularly practiced in large corporate environments. But smaller enterprises have held off acquiring the combination of technologies that can make their data easily available and provide good data protection and security at an affordable cost. Such firms are hesitant to acquire data-protection technologies because they worry about how to make the different technologies work together reliably as well as the data protection solution's complexity and potential maintenance difficulties.

This is the market segment that Tandberg Data has targeted with its InteliStor network backup appliance. This Windows Storage Server (WSS) 2003-based appliance combines NAS and tape-backup hardware (LTO-2) with easy-to-use backup software to provide what Tandberg Data markets as a turnkey data-security and backup device with minimal requirements for IT support.

On the surface, the marketing claims for InteliStor would appear to be true. To use InteliStor as a basic network backup device, you need to do only a little work to set it up. The included Symantec Backup Exec software is well known and easy to use, and IT support can easily develop procedures to make sure that the backup tapes are rotated properly. Getting InteliStor up and running took me less than half an hour from start to finish, and the system was ready to start providing data protection to any data on my network that I wanted to replicate to the WSS 2003 component of the InteliStor appliance. A lot of the ease of InteliStor setup was because of my experience with Windows Server and WSS 2003, but for any administrator with a basic knowledge of Windows Server, getting the InteliStor up and running isn't a complex proposition.

While researching InteliStor, I noticed that other reviewers had commented on the increased complexity when using InteliStor to provide backup to Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server installations. Curiously, the reviewers seemed to feel that this increased need for attention and management was a negative part of the InteliStor concept. However, I disagree. The basic InteliStor concept is a sound one: Provide a good NAS and backup solution that works well together and with Windows Server networks. It's unsurprising that adding the requirement to back up email and/or database servers increases the complexity of the equation and brings with it a requirement for more IT support. Both Exchange and SQL Server have their own management requirements. When you add those applications to the backup and data-protection responsibilities of the InteliStor appliance (or any similar appliance, for that matter), you add those applications' additional backup management responsibilities. Automatic backup for SQL Server and Exchange requires its own expertise, even with the optional modules that support these applications in InteliStor. I wouldn't let the need to understand the applications I plan to protect stop me from considering a solution like Tandberg InteliStor.

Pricing for InteliStor starts at just under $6000 for the 480GB unit and increases to just under $13,000 for the 1.6TB unit. You can find more information about InteliStor at
http://www.tandbergdatacorp.com/products/products_InteliStor.htm

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==== News from the Industry ====

Lucid8 Helps Sites Protect and Archive Exchange Data
by Anne Grubb (agrubb@windowsitpro.com)

Continuous data protection (CDP) is a packed field that includes several dozen vendors offering products to protect data on Windows or other application servers (e.g., Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server). Lucid8 aims to stand out from the crowd by offering a product duo that covers the "before and after" aspects of Exchange Server data protection. The "before" part is preventive maintenance: Lucid8's GOexchange--which the vendor bills as a "disaster prevention and optimization" product--automatically defragments and reindexes Exchange databases to prevent database errors and improve performance. The "after" part is Lucid8's DigiVault software, which continuously backs up incremental Exchange database changes to an onsite or offsite repository and lets an administrator recover changes made just prior to an Exchange failure event.

DigiVault's CDP approach is unique, says Troy Werelius, Lucid8 president and CEO, because it's a software product "that uses compression as well as encryption. You see encryption in a lot of appliances," he says. Additionally, Werelius says that DigiVault 1.5, which Lucid8 released in late June, "lets you designate a tape backup product to use and automatically kicks off a backup to migrate the data \[backed up by DigiVault\] to tape."

Lucid8 has also recently been promoting GOexchange's usefulness in optimizing email-archiving solutions. "Archiving firms promise to make your \[Exchange\] data store smaller, by moving data out of the database into the archive," says Werelius. "But moving data out actually exacerbates \[indexing and disk-space\] problems in the database--for example, by delinking some items and relinking them to different locations." Werelius says that even if you move most Exchange data off the server to an archive, the Exchange server's database won't be healthy or as small as it should be until you perform the necessary maintenance on it, either by using a combination of Microsoft utilities (e.g., Eseutil, Isinteg) or GOexchange. "Email-archiving vendors don't bring up the database-maintenance issue with customers," says Werelius. "Customers usually deal with the issue three to six months down the road \[after installing the archiving system\]. Part of our goal is to bring this issue to the forefront," says Werelius, who also hopes to convince email-archiving vendors of the need to integrate a database-maintenance capability into their products.

==== New and Improved ====
by Blake Eno, products@windowsitpro.com

Control Multiple Pools of Storage in a Single SAN

EqualLogic announced PS Series 3.0 firmware that enables flexible data segmentation and control for multiple pools of storage in a single SAN. You can configure capacity and performance characteristics for each pool and manage pools from a single interface. Additionally, automatic data placement and load balancing help the PS Series perform automatic data optimization within each pool, according to application demands. The product also provides snapshots of multiple volumes across arrays and pools, creating backups of related information to let you quickly recover complete data sets. For more information, visit EqualLogic on the Web:
http://www.equallogic.com

More Backup Options for SMBs and Enterprises

Yosemite Technologies announced updates to its flagship product, Yosemite Backup. Companies of all sizes enjoy the increased disk backup capacity in Backup Standard (8TB) and Backup Advanced (16TB to unlimited). Yosemite's Disk-to-Disk-to-Any (D2D2Ne) option provides enhanced virtual tape library (VTL) options that let you create a VTL environment by using general-purpose disk storage rather than expensive proprietary hardware. The optional Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) agent with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) lets you take advantage of DPM's replication capabilities. For more information, contact Yosemite on the Web:
http://www.yosemitetech.com

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