StorageTek Scores One For iSCSI

Echo View, which sells for around $50,000, offers continuous data protection using an old technology called journaling to keep track of changes to files on servers.

As users create and update files across their networks, Echo View monitors these changes and records them to its own disk drives using a series of software drivers placed on each server and through block-level data transfers between the server and its appliance.

"Journaling is the real key to how this appliance works," says Mark Lewis, senior product marketing manager at StorageTek. "We can mount a volume the way it looked a certain number of minutes ago, say just before a virus outbreak on the network or just before a user deleted a key file."

The journaling technology differs from snapshots that many backup vendors take of network servers; the key difference is that the journals are taken automatically, and continuously.

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"This decreases the risk of data loss, and minimizes the disruption to your network," Lewis says. Echo View can be combined with tape libraries to make backups to tape faster since the files being copied to the tape have been moved off the server. Users can also historically browse their networks, going back to particular points in time for lost or older file versions if needed.

Company representatives say that between five to 50 servers can be protected from one appliance, which will ship with half a terabyte of storage and will be the first of an expanding line of products offering these features. The product is the first time StorageTek has exclusively designed something for the channel, and it plans on recruiting more VARs over time to sell the unit and incorporate it into a wide variety of backup solutions.