Storage vendor Network Appliances (NetApp) launched what it calls a 'virtual tape' system on Monday that claims to offer the speed of disk with the affordability of tape.
Two different models are available, along with new security and back-up software.
The new virtual tape library products are the NearStore VTL600, which has a single head, and the dual-head NearStore VTL1200. NearStore VTLs are dedicated appliances that emulate physical tape libraries in disk and automatically copy data to physical tape under backup application control "within any open systems storage environment", NetApp said.
According to NetApp, useful innovations within the VTL product include Self-Turning and Tape Smart Sizing. The latter is intended to make the maximum use of tape resources and, NetApp claims, offers savings of up to 50 percent in the amount of physical tape required.
It also supports a wide range of disks and systems including some from EMC, StorageTek, Quantum, HP, Sun, Hitachi and IBM.
Tape Smart Sizing uses software that predicts how the data held within the VTL will compress when it reaches the physical tape.
"Basically, the NearStore VTL samples the backup data and adjusts the virtual tape to fit," said Stuart Gilks, systems engineering director at NetApp. "It means you can get maximum use of your tape: there is no wasted space and it is stored efficiently."
NearStore VTL also integrates with Decru DataFort appliances for encryption of data on disk and tape.
The systems scale from 4.5TB to 168TB and integrate with backup application software from BakBone, Computer Associates, CommVault, HP, Legato, Symantec, Syncsort, and Tivoli. They will also work with tape libraries from ADIC, IBM, Quantum, and StorageTek.
The news came hot on the heels of storage market-leader EMC's announcement that it had launched a new initiative to woo SME's — the traditional bedrock of NetApp's market.
In a separate announcement, Decru, the encryption and security arm of NetApp, announced firmware for IP-based storage environments. Decru's DataFort E-Series Version 3.0 now incorporates iSCSI into its unified storage security platform along with the existing support for CIFS and NFS. NetApp says the software is aimed at applications for regulatory compliance, customer data privacy, secure disaster recovery and secure outsourcing.