LXI Introduces Off-Site Tape Management Appliance
May 4, 2004 Alex Woodie
With today’s shrinking backup windows and new government regulations mandating certain data storage processes, keeping close tabs on backup tapes is more important than ever, yet more complicated as well. LXI, a developer of backup software for iSeries, Unix, Linux, and Windows, last week launched OffStor, a new off-site, PC-based media management appliance designed to give organizations more visibility and control over the backups they make, regardless of the computer platform.
The key ingredient in the new OffStor appliance is Tape Tracker, LXI’s cross-platform vault management solution, which runs on Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. Tape Tracker’s database gives organizations a single view of all of their tape pools and helps them to consolidate their tape inventories and containers across different platforms, including OS/400. It’s important to note that Tape Tracker supports OS/400, because most of the major network backup applications, with the exception of the Tivoli products from IBM, do not support OS/400; whereas OS/400 is an LXI specialty.
With Tape Tracker’s query processor, employees can track, move, and report on tape inventories, regardless of the network backup application actually controlling the backups. The software integrates with the databases of all of the major network backup solutions, including BakBone Software‘s NetVault, Computer Associates‘ ArcServe, Hewlett-Packard‘s OmniBack, IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager, Legato‘s NetWorker, VERITAS Software‘s NetBackup, and, of course, LXI’s own MMS (which manages backups on OS/400 servers) and TMS/ix (which manages backups on Unix, Linux, and Windows boxes). LXI also provides an open interface with Tape Tracker for managing nonstandard, or custom-built, tape backups and processes.
With OffStor, LXI is basically repackaging the Tape Tracker software into a hardware and software product, although the company is offering some customization, as well. While the Tape Tracker software is not new, the new packaging gives IT administrators another deployment option to consider for their network backup strategies. The simplicity of the hardware appliance may free the administrators to concentrate on the real issue, which is how they are going to implement a centralized backup strategy, and then how are they going to actually control the movement of tapes from data centers to off-site locations.
“With today’s emphasis on sound business policies and controls, clients are looking for tools that can help them to manage data better throughout its lifecycle,” says Tim Kormos, LXI’s product manager. “The OffStor introduces the timely combination of a simple-to-implement appliance, with our comprehensive off-site media storage management tool, Tape Tracker, delivering an out-of-the-box tool that enables centralized policy management and solid process controls across the enterprise, regardless of platform.”
OffStor is available now, in either a stand-alone tower or a 1U rack-mounted chassis. The device ships from LXI with settings customized to an organization’s particular environment, which the Irving, Texas, company says is necessary to ensure plug-and-play installation. Pricing starts at $12,000, which fetches a minimally configured appliance. The price goes up with the number of backup agents, the size of the media inventory, and other incremental criteria. Contact LXI at www.lxicorp.com for more information.