System Automation, VTL, and Security Linked in Help/Systems, Crossroads Deal
March 1, 2010 Dan Burger
Help/Systems, one of the dominant providers of system administration and security tools for the IBM i platform, has expanded its technological reach by forming a partnership with Crossroads Systems, a company known for its data security products. Specifically, this means the Help/Systems automated operations software–primarily Robot/SAVE, but also Robot/SCHEDULE and Robot/REPORTS–will be will be matched with Crossroads’ SPHiNX virtual tape appliance.
The integration of these products offers an increase in automated and secure media management including object inventory of systems, audit trails, encryption, and optional use of tape.
Sales and marketing will be handled by Help/Systems and will be targeted at a combined customer base of more than 21,000 organizations.
As a disaster recovery option, the combination of Robot/SAVE and SPHiNX is expected to improve recovery time and increases storage capacity, while leveraging existing investments in disk and tape backup infrastructure.
The Robot/SAVE backup and recovery software provides the tape management functions for a single system (Power Systems running IBM i and its predecessors) or a data center made up of these systems. It also supports a centralized scratch pool. It supports VTL as if it is another tape drive. For companies dealing with regulatory compliance issues such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA, and PCI requirements, the management capabilities of the Robot/SAVE-SPHiNX combo simplify many of the otherwise labor-intensive tasks.
The SPHiNX virtual tape library eliminates several cost factors and workflow bottlenecks that include tape mounts (it’s disk-to-disk), third-party tape storage facilities, and in most cases will either eliminate or reduce the number of tapes required. It also allows the conversion of old tapes to modern formats. However, don’t get the wrong idea. The SPHiNX VTL supports tape drives, bringing users the speed of writing to the VTL during backups, while later writing to tape for off-site storage. This saves cycles on the Power System server(s) that would have been used for writing to tape.
In addition, users have a choice of encryption methods: software data encryption using Robot/SAVE or hardware encryption using SPHiNX.
Crossroads introduced SPHiNX for Power Systems in September 2009. Prior to that, the technology had been used in the Hewlett-Packard NonStop (formerly Tandem) server market in an HP OEM-branded version for more than six years.
Tom Huntington, vice president of technical services at Help/Systems, describes the technological marriage as a solution that “helps eliminate several backup and recovery headaches that many data center managers struggle with daily. Issues with tape mounts, replication, off-site storage, encryption, tape costs, and security are just a few of the items we can resolve with this solution set.”
Huntington is joining Glenn Haley, a senior product manager with Crossroads, in presenting an online Webinar that highlights the capabilities of this new approach to disaster recovery. That presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 18, at noon CST. Registration is available here.