Eye On The Channel

The Louisville-based vendor, which in recent months has taken more business to solution providers, plans to unveil EchoView, an iSCSI appliance for disk-to-disk backups, said Pete Koliopoulos, StorageTek's director of product marketing.

EchoView allows incremental changes to data on a network to be copied to the appliance as those changes occur, keeping an up-to-date copy of the data available for high-speed recovery if a file gets lost or the system goes down, Koliopoulos said.

>> EchoView will initially be offered for the Windows 2000 and Solaris 8 and 9 environments.

"Customers can mount views of what the data looked like at any point in time," he said. "They can then set certain points in time when the data is sent to a tape subsystem via software applications from vendors such as Veritas [Software] and Legato [Systems]."

The incremental changes can be backed up to EchoView even while the snap copies of the entire data set are being backed up to tape, Koliopoulos added. Unlike other backup appliances, EchoView doesn't store data in a tape format, he said.

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EchoView protects up to 400 Gbytes of internal hard-drive capacity, and it will be offered initially for Windows 2000, and Solaris 8 and 9, with other platforms due out later this year, Koliopoulos said. A version with more capacity is expected late this year or early next year, he said.

EchoView will be targeted at small and midsize companies and at departments in large enterprises, Koliopoulos said.

The product is slated to ship this summer with a price of about $50,000 for a 400-Gbyte unit, he said.

Sales Strategies, a StorageTek partner in Metuchen, N.J., plans to sell EchoView because the product's iSCSI capabilities and the fact that data is not stored in a tape format separate it from similar appliances, said Michael Fanelli, western regional manager at the storage solution provider. Sales Strategies has started experimenting with iSCSI, but so far the firm hasn't made the technology a linchpin of its business, he said.

"Now that the iSCSI standard is official, we will do more with it," Fanelli said. "Without standards, we'd be entering no-man's land."

Although EchoView can be used in many situations, especially since Windows 2000 and Solaris account for a big chunk of the market, an iSCSI-based disk-to-disk backup appliance won't be the panacea that many expect it to be, Fanelli said. "Such an appliance will not eliminate tape, but it will speed up the backup process," he said.