Crossroads Shrinks its SPHiNX VTL, Adds SAS Support
October 4, 2011 Alex Woodie
Crossroads Systems yesterday unveiled a new release of its SPHiNX data protection solution that should help both large and small customers. Smaller shops will benefit from a smaller, less expensive version of the virtual tape library (VTL) appliance, while larger vendors will appreciate the expansion of the largest VTL device to 35 TB of native storage. Support for SAS disk connectivity will be useful for connecting to the latest Power Systems environment.
Crossroads’ SPHiNX is a line of disk-based backup devices that protect data on IBM i, Windows, and Linux servers, as well as PCs. The offering functions as a VTL that emulates LTO tape drives and libraries, and connects to Power Systems and System i servers via SCSI, Fibre Channel, and now SAS connections. The devices can also be used to IPL an IBM i server environment on new IBM i hardware, giving the product valuable disaster recovery (DR) capabilities. Data replication and encryption capabilities are also available.
The new 1U SPHiNX offering–which starts at $8,900 for 3 TB of native storage capacity (upgradeable to 6 TB) and offers four SCSI, SAS, or Fibre Channel ports–provides a new entry-point into the SPHiNX family of servers. Previously the smallest and least-expensive product in the lineup was the 2U device, which started at $13,000.
Crossroads senior product manager Glenn Haley says the pricing of the 1U device is comparable to what an organization would pay for a new tape drive or a small tape. This makes the 1U option attractive for smaller companies that may have wanted to consider VTL but couldn’t justify the higher cost. “Crossroads SPHiNX 1U now gives them a disk-based virtual tape appliance as an affordable alternative,” he says.
The 1U device offers full host connectivity, the capability to connect to third-party disk-array controllers (via SAS or Fibre Channel), and also gives the customer the option to buy the encryption or the new wide area network (WAN) acceleration option. The new device also supports all of the compression and data replication features of its larger brothers. The only SPHiNX features not supported on the 1U device are the capability to send “stacked exports” to physical tape drives connected on the back end, and clustering (clustering is only supported on the 3U-n offering).
Crossroads has also beefed up the largest SPHiNX 3U offering, which now offers 35 TB of native storage capacity. When three-to-one compression is used, that increases the appliance’s storage to 105 TB. This should provide plenty of storage for daily and quarterly backups.
The release of Crossroads’ SPHiNX 8.1 brings several other enhancements, including SAS host connectivity, WAN acceleration, and support for Unisys ClearPath MCP mainframes.
Crossroads obtained its WAN acceleration technology through a deal with Aspera. Haley says the technology maximizes data transfer rates, and will provide customers with the performance, scalability, and bandwidth control they need to roll-out large-scale data replication for the purposes of business resilience, data center consolidation, or cloud computing.
Haley says the new lineup helps both large and small organizations protect their data. “This latest expansion for SPHiNX underscores Crossroads’ commitment to listening to its users and answering their business demands with additional platforms and capacity options,” he states in a press release.
This article was corrected. Crossroads new 1U appliance supports some of the features found in the 2U and 3U appliances, including compression and replication. IT Jungle regrets the error.