LaserVault Launches Hybrid Cloud Backup Appliance for IBM i
July 12, 2011 Alex Woodie
LaserVault recently introduced a new hybrid cloud backup solution for IBM i shops that utilizes a Fibre Channel-connected, Windows-based storage appliance and replication of deduplicated data to Rackspace‘s storage cloud. Called the UBD Cloud, LaserVault says the new offering will appeal to IBM i shops that have large volumes of data to protect, relatively small backup windows, and require off-site storage for disaster recovery purposes.
The UBD Cloud is based on the Universal Backup Device, which LaserVault first introduced in late 2010. Priced at about $15,000, the UBD is a Windows Server 2008 box housed with up to 6 TB of RAID protected Western Digital disk, and Fibre Channel connectors that enable the device to appear as a basic LTO drive to the IBM i server.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma, company tried to keep the UBD device as basic and simple to operate as possible. All that a user needs to do is plug in the power cord and Fibre Channel connections, wait for the IBM i server to recognize UBD as an LTO tape drive, and start running backups. UBD is designed to work with existing backup routines (driven by standard save commands, BRMS, Robot/SAVE, or similar). A Web browser-based interface is used to create tape image files, or users can use CL commands if they choose.
LaserVault bolstered the UBD earlier this year with deduplication, via Exar‘s Bitwackr, which uses block-based deduplication techniques. According to LaserVault, Bitwackr enables customers to store up to 100 TB worth of data on their UBD devices, which have less than a tenth of that amount of actual physical storage.
With the launch of the UBD Cloud offering, LaserVault has expanded into the next logical place: the cloud.
UBD Cloud uses an outside data transmission service, called MySecureBackup, to get data from the UBD up to RackSpace, LaserVault says. According to the vendor, MySecureBackup uses secure SSH connections to transmit AES-256 encrypted data. Once the deduplicated, compressed, and encrypted data is successfully transmitted to the cloud, there are four copies of the customer’s data: one on the UDB, and three living in the cloud, according to LaserVault.
Data security is one of the primary benefits of UBD Cloud. In the event of a disaster, the customer can either restore from the local UBD, or have the cached backups sent from the Rackspace cloud (if they’ve been erased from the local UBD device to make room for more backups). A UDB device is generally required to perform restores and IPL the recovered IBM i server, which will lead some customer to purchase a second UDB for full DR protection.
Speed is another benefit of the UDB offering. According to LaserVault, backups can move as fast as 205 MB per second. That is faster than the maximum speed rating of LTO 5 tape drives, which is 140 MBPS. LaserVault achieves this high rate of speed by using 6:1 compression (LTO 5 offers only 2:1 compression rates).
UBD Cloud is available now. For more information, see laservaultbackup.com.