Spectra Logic Intros Dedupe Appliances

replication migration

The Boulder, Colo.-based storage vendor also updated the software used in its tape libraries to add increased automation.

Spectra Logic's new nTier dedupe appliances come to market at a time of turmoil in the storage industry, said Molly Rector, Spectra's vice president of product management and marketing.

Rector said the turmoil is due to several recent data protection vendor shifts, including the acquisition of tape library vendor Sun Microsystems by Oracle, the acquisition of dedupe specialist Data Domain by EMC, doubts about EMC's relationship with dedupe and tape vendor Quantum in the wake of the Data Domain acquisition, as well as financial difficulties with other tape library vendors.

"It's still unclear what kind of partners solution providers will be working with, both in terms of disk and tape appliances," she said.

Sponsored post

Spectra Logic is looking to take advantage of such storage industry changes with the introduction of two new dedupe appliances.

The nTier 500 dedupe appliance scales from 36 TB to 108 TB of capacity, and offers a throughput of more than 500 MB per second. The nTier 700 scales from 43 TB to 674 TB of capacity with a throughput of more than 900 MB per second.

Both products feature dedupe and virtual tape library (VTL) software from FalconStor. Data to be backed up is sent directly to the nTier appliance, where it is deduped before being sent to tape, Rector said.

The nTier appliances also feature integrated policy-based remote site replication, which allows data from multiple sites to be deduped when sent to a central site to reduce size further, Rector said.

They both also come with the ability to integrate directly with tape for automatically backing data up to tape, she said.

Spectra Logic's new nTier dedupe appliances seem to stack up well against the competition, said Dave Hiechel, president and CEO of Eagle Software, a Salina, Kan.-based solution provider and Spectra Logic partner.

Eagle Software has already installed one of the new appliances at the University of Kansas via iSCSI, and the installation went well, Hiechel said.

Hiechel said the nTier appliances are great for use at customer shops where Spectra Logic tape libraries are already installed because of the tape integration feature. He also liked the ease of management when working with both the nTier dedupe appliance and tape libraries from Spectra Logic.

In addition to Spectra Logic, Eagle Software is a partner with Data Domain, the leading dedupe appliance vendor that was recently acquired by EMC in a $2.1 billion deal.

Hiechel said his company will keep both vendors' appliances in its product line, as they meet specific requirements despite some technical similarities.

"Data Domain is great for NFS [Network File System] and CIFS [Common Internet File System] environments, while the Spectra Logic nTiers are more of a VTL," he said. "But there is some overlap. For now, we will continue to sell both. If it's a Spectra Logic tape customer, it's a good fit for nTier. If not, it might be a good fit for Data Domain."

Spectra Logic this week also enhanced its tape library technology with a couple of enhancements to its BlueScale tape library software.

The enhancements include the ability for the company's tape libraries to now have a global hot spare drive so that if there is a problem with one drive, the library can automatically failover to the spare, Rector said.

"For a long time, tape libraries have been focused on capacity and throughput, and not on reliability," she said. "But as customers move toward disk-to-disk backups, there's a new focus on reliability."

Also new for the BlueScale software is hardware life-cycle management. This gives tape libraries the ability to know the life cycle of tape drives and robotics so that when they are at about 20 percent of their life expectancy, they can proactively send a message to ship new parts, she said.

Spectra Logic's new nTier dedupe appliances are currently available, with pricing for the nTier500 starting at $23,500.

The BlueScale 10.6 software is available as an upgrade.