New Storage Systems Debut At Comdex
Data storage and management is a key issue across the board for everyone in the information intensive insurance industry–from carriers to brokers, to agents to third-party suppliers.
As the continuing crush of new data continues to challenge our ability to store and access it, vendors at Comdex Fall 2002, held here last month, were offering a variety of systems and devices to help meet that challenge in a variety of settings.
Ultera Systems, Laguna Hills, Calif., announced what it called a “breakthrough” as it unveiled Mirage, a scalable Virtual Tape Controller for enterprise data backup, restoration and archiving.
“The Mirage controller operates as a hard-drive-based virtual tape library, providing high performance backup and restore with instantaneous file access and a unique patent-pending embedded archive capability with seamless scalability,” said Ultera.
Both the SCSI (small computer systems interface) and fibre channel versions provide “extremely fast file access with measured times of [less than] 15 milliseconds, compared to several minutes or more using a physical tape library,” the company said. SCSI is a hardware interface that allows for connection of up to 15 peripheral devices to a single server. Fibre channel is a high-speed technology primarily used for transporting SCSI traffic from servers to disk arrays.
AutoArchive, a feature embedded in the Mirage controller, enables the controller to initiate and manage archive operations, said Ultera. The archive operation automatically moves data from the virtual library to a physical library. The controller manages all processes, including exporting of tapes from the library for off-site storage.
According to Ultera, Mirage can also make copies of backup tapes, and it supports all industry tape drives and tape libraries. “It supports investments companies have already made in tape drives, libraries and RAID equipment, as well as the application software they have already licensed and trained their personnel to operate,” said Mo Nour, president and founder of Ultera Systems. He added that the “Mirage VTC is the only one that allows users to keep their current configurations in place–no hardware changes (other than installing Mirage), no software changes, no procedural or policy changes.”
Ultera emphasized that Mirage is not meant to replace tape as a storage medium, “but to enhance its utilization within its current IT mission.”
Mirage VTC is packaged as a base hardware platform with controllers and various firmware options, the company said. Model VT2104, a single SCSI Mirage controller supporting 4TB (terabytes) of virtual storage capacity, has a list price of $23,300 and is currently available. Model VT2120, the fibre channel version, is priced the same as the SCSI model and will ship in mid-January 2003.
Details are available at www.ultera.com.
PowerFile Inc., based in Los Gatos, Calif., announced the PowerFile R200 Backup, “a high-capacity, low-cost optical library for network backup.”
According to PowerFile, the R200 is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises and utilizes DVD-RAM/R drives from Panasonic, as well as Back Again II software from CDS.
The complete library has a 1.7TB (compressed) capacity, and the R200s are scalable to 10TB (compressed) “by simply daisy-chaining additional units,” the company explained. The R200 Backup can hold up to 200 DVD-RAM discs. The unit connects to a backup server and is bundled with the network backup software, which supports all major Microsoft operating systems.
“In our recommended configuration, customers can back up at hard disk speeds and receive the quality random access and reliability of optical storage for about one-half of what a company would have to pay for an equivalent tape solution that would likely be slower and much less reliable,” stated Anders Axelsson, CEO of PowerFile.
Pricing details were not provided. Further information is available at www.powerfile.com.