ADIC Virtualizes Tape And Disk Into Unified Backup/Recovery Solution

The Redmond, Wash.-based vendor, one of the industry's largest suppliers of automated tape solutions, unveiled Pathlight VX 2.0, an application which can handle backups of up to 3,000 Tbytes.

The application helps overcome many of the limitations of disk-based backup solutions, said Steve Whitner, corporate marketing manager for ADIC.

Most tape libraries average about 40 Tbytes in capacity in the enterprise, while most disk-based backup systems max out at between 40 Tbytes and 58 Tbytes, Whitner said. Disk-based systems, while faster than tape for backups, do not scale as easily as tape and offer limited disaster-recovery support, yet cost between four times and eight times as much as a tape solution, he said.

The new version of Pathlight VX, combined with an EMC Clariion ATA RAID array, offers backups at up to 2 Tbytes per hour with a maximum native capacity of 2824 Tbytes, Whitner said.

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At the same time, the Clariion is connected with a tape library so that files can be automatically moved to tape for archiving and disaster recovery purposes, Whitner said. "However, to the software, it looks like a virtual library," he said. "It supports all conventional backup software."

The disk-based capacity currently appears to back up software as an LTO library, Whitner said. However, other virtual tape technologies will be available from ADIC in the next six months.

Because the disk and tape capacities as viewed through Pathlight VX are seen as a single library, data can be moved back and forth between disk and tape without customers realizing it, Whitner said. The data can also be exported to tapes which can be read by other libraries.

Solution providers can balance the tape and disk part of the solution according to whether a customer needs to focus on speed or cost, Whitner said.

"More disk means quicker recovery times, as data is kept online for a longer time, while more tape means a lower acquisition cost," he said. "For example, if a lot of restores happen in the first three days after data is stored, customers may want to move towards more disk to cut the restore time. For the first time, we're giving people the chance to make the trade-off of recovery time versus the cost of storage."

About 50 percent of ADIC's business goes through OEMs, and 50 percent is branded. Of the branded business, nearly 95 percent goes through solution providers, Whitner said.

Pathlight VX 2.0 is expected to start shipping in January, Whitner said. Pricing varies according to the configuration of the tape and disk. A typical solution with 32.2 Tbytes of capacity, including 3.8 Tbytes of Clariion disk storage and a Scalar 100 tape library with LTO-2 drives, has a list price of $200,361, including media and a two-year on-site warranty, Whitner said.