Volume 11, Number 15 -- April 26, 2011

Tributary Extends NonStop Legacy to IBM i

Published: April 26, 2011

by Alex Woodie

Tributary Systems has served the storage and archive needs of Hewlett-Packard NonStop customers for years with its Virtual Integrated Tape and Library (ViTAL) offering. Since acquiring the virtual tape library (VTL) assets from Gresham Enterprise Storage a year-and-a-half ago, Tributary has added IBM Power Systems expertise to its enterprise storage repertoire.

Tributary Systems was founded in 1990 to address the backup storage needs for users of the NonStop fault-tolerant computing platform that was first developed by Tandem, then acquired by Compaq and HP. For the last 15 years, the Bedford, Texas-based company has been an OEM supplier of backup solutions to HP for its NonStop business unit.

Tributary got into the VTL business in the early 2000s, just as VTLs were beginning to gain popularity. The company's first VTL offering, ViTAL, meshed well with the high availability needs of NonStop customers, says Tributary President and CEO Shawn Sabanayagam.

The company had always been interested in entering the mainframe and AS/400 market, two fault-tolerant platforms that were analogous to NonStop, Sabanayagam says. So around 2005, Tributary partnered with Gresham Enterprise Storage to broaden its platform support. However, the resulting solution was not up to par and it was never formally launched.

In late 2009, Tributary got into the IBM i market for good when it acquired Gresham's VTL assets, including all products, personnel, and intellectual property associated with the Clareti Storage Director VTL software. Since then, the company has worked to improve the software (now called Tributary Storage Director), and strengthen its partnership with IBM.

For starters, in February, Tributary announced that the Storage Director software supported the z/OS platform. This gives the solution broad coverage across IBM i, AIX, Open VMS, Linux, and Windows environments.

The company also received certification from IBM for running Storage Director on IBM's X64-based System x platform, and integrating with IBM SANS on the backend. This is a critical thing for "true Blue" shops that want to leverage IBM hardware and support agreements across all of their critical servers, Sabanayagam says.

Giving customers flexibility in their backup and storage environment is the key element that Tributary can offer with its VTL solution, says Ed Ahl, a former Gresham employee who is now director of business development for Tributary.

"Technology is shifting so fast, it's clouded the VTL landscape for a lot of people, and makes the decision a little more difficult," he says. "With Storage Director, we're a non-disruptive technology. You can insert us into an environment, and you don't have to change a thing. We support BRMS and SAVLIB. It works just like a native IBM solution."

Storage Director emulates an IBM 3584 LTO tape library on the front-end. Because the backup is writing directly to the disk cache of the underlying Storage Director appliance, backups are typically completed much faster than disk. In some rare cases, where the speed of a backup is not dependent on how fast a tape drive can write data, users will see no speed benefit from using a VTL like Storage Director. But in many cases, Tributary sees backups completed faster than LTO 4 drives can accomplish them.

The real flexibility of the Tributary offering, though, is what the product can do after the data has been backed up. Because Storage Director offers such a wide variety of connections on the backend, customers can continue to use their IBM disk or tape libraries for long-term storage, or even Oracle's StorageTek offerings. Storage Director also has a certified connection with Quantum to support that vendor's storage devices, including its data de-duplication capabilities.

While data de-dupe is gaining a lot of attention in the IT world (Data Domain recently rolled out IBM i support with its industry-leading offerings), the IBM i world is less concerned with de-dupe as with other storage capabilities, notably replication, Ahl says.

In particular, IBM i customers are interested in being able to replicate backups over low-bandwidth lines to a secondary storage location, where the backups will sit on tape libraries until they are needed in the event of a disaster. When a backup is needed, it can be easily applied to the IBM i environment. "Customers aren't locked into us to have their data. That's a key feature," Ahl says.

The use of native storage formats allows customers to apply their backups more easily than if the VTL stored the backup in a proprietary format. However, customers who opt to encrypt their backups using Storage Director will need the software to unlock their backups.

Tributary is gearing up for the launch of Storage Director version 3 in the coming weeks. The new offering will include support for NAS storage, which will further broaden its storage capability in the X64 world. Look for a story on the new version in an upcoming issue of this newsletter.


Quantum Adds Fibre Channel to Midrange De-dupe Boxes

Gresham Sells VTL Software and IP to Tributary Systems

Quantum Launches Midrange Data De-Duplication Appliances

Gresham Targets System i Shops with VTL Solution

                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot

Sponsored By

Real-Time Database Sharing:
What Can It Do for Your Business?

Got business-critical information residing on System i
and other databases? Silos of information are difficult to share,
which puts people at risk of making decisions based
upon inaccurate or outdated information.

Learn how new data sharing software can replicate
and transform data in real-time from and between
IBM i and today's most popular databases.

Download the White Paper

Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

BCD:  FREE Webinar: New Presto 3 - The MOST flexible IBM i Web GUI for green screens. View NOW!
Vision Solutions:  Real-Time Database Sharing: What Can It Do for Your Business? FREE White Paper!
COMMON:  Join us at the 2011 Conference & Expo, May 1 - 4 in Minneapolis, MN


IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

BACK IN STOCK: Easy Steps to Internet Programming for System i: List Price, $49.95

The iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $49.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49
The All-Everything Operating System: List Price, $35
The Best Joomla! Tutorial Ever!: List Price, $19.95

The Four Hundred
That Faster Power 750 Motor Is Made for IBM i Shops

All Kinds of Goodies Added to IBM i 7.1

Power Systems Sales Jump 19 Percent in Q1

As I See It: 'He Kindly Stopped for Me'

Power Systems Get Some I/O and Storage Enhancements

Four Hundred Guru
Installing a PHP/MySQL Open Source Application on i

Stuff I Neglected to Mention on February 16, 2011

Best Options for Post-i 6.1.1 Upgrade Backups

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

System i PTF Guide
September 25, 2010: Volume 12, Number 39

September 18, 2010: Volume 12, Number 38

September 11, 2010: Volume 12, Number 37

September 4, 2010: Volume 12, Number 36

August 28, 2010: Volume 12, Number 35

August 21, 2010: Volume 12, Number 34

TPM at The Register
Greenpeace spies soot lining in cloud data centers

Brit outfit rolls own virtual server appliances

AMD balance sheet not exactly an Intel clone

Ubuntu Server 11.04: Fully baked in 7 days

Intel's Xeon biz bolstered by server refreshes

VMware surfs virtualization wave in Q1

Hardware boom boosts IBM in Q1

Rackspace fluffs up load balancing for clouds

Opsview beefs up Nagios system monitor

Top IT sales guy leaves HP

HP quietly revamps ProLiant SL hyperscale servers

Bull, SGI tag team on Japanese nuke petaflopper


JAMS Job Scheduler
Townsend Security
Vision Solutions
RJS Software Systems

Printer Friendly Version

LANSA Turns aXes into IBM i Cloud Enabler

Centerfield Launches IBM i Auditing Tools

Japanese Quake Puts Spotlight on Supply Chain Risk

Tributary Extends NonStop Legacy to IBM i

Maxava Worked 'Just Like it Says on the Tin,' Customer Says

News Briefs and Product Shorts:

QlikTech's New iPad Client Ain't No 'Dumb Pad' . . . OAR Gives looksoftware Customer Technological Freedom . . . HP Launches Cloud Transformation Solutions . . . Spinnaker Says JD Edwards Support Business Growing Fast . . . Jamaica Port Authority Revs IT Systems to Handle More Traffic . . .

Four Hundred Stuff


Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2011 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement