iSam Blue Adds Storage Director to its Lineup
January 24, 2012 Dan Burger
iSam Blue, a data protection company specializing in the backup and recovery field, has added a virtual backup storage solution to its repertoire of products and services. The addition is a result of partnership with Tributary Systems makers of Storage Director, a virtual tape library software product that consolidates tape libraries and accelerates backups in multi-server, multi-platform environments.
Robert Seal, CEO at iSam Blue, says he first heard about Storage Director at the COMMON 2011 Annual Meeting and Exposition.
“I realized that this is a backup solution that many IBM i users need,” Seal said in a telephone interview with IT Jungle last week. “This solution is ideal for companies with multiple IBM i servers and/or multiple heterogeneous server platforms. It’s for companies that want to fully automate their long-term data storage, or implement new backup storage technology across all their platforms simultaneously, and/or provide an inexpensive automated alternative to offsite vaulting storage.”
One of the benefits that Seal believes will prove to be important is that Storage Director protects the investment in legacy storage devices. For example, a new Power Systems server could support an old tape drive when using Storage Director. Otherwise that old tape drive would have to be replaced, meaning a larger investment.
While maintaining older devices, Storage Director also brings compatibility with the modern storage technologies such as storage area networks, network attached storage, and optical disk that exist in IBM midrange shops (often unused by the IBM midrange servers), but compatible with Windows, Linux, and Unix environments, which can all be combined using Storage Director.
This takes us into the familiar discussion involving system silos. Compared to each server having its own backup storage, this alternative offers a way to connect as a native tape device to multiple servers, while consolidating management, maintenance and support for multiple backup devices, and diminishing the unused capacity that is created by separate servers and storage silos.
“There’s no purpose to those silos when talking about storage and monitoring storage,” Seal says. “There are savings to be realized when eliminating silos that relate to hardware and to people managing that hardware. Companies need long term storage. They have policies that require it.”
Other benefits that Seal points out are the virtualization of tape backups that allows them to be stored locally or remotely. For any company that has a small and getting smaller window for doing backups, performance gains are likely because data can be quickly off-loaded to Storage Director at up to wire speed. For a 4 GB FC port with a single virtual drive, that means more than 300 MB/second per FC port.
Faster backup unburdens the production servers from the lengthier backup times associated physical tape.
Storage Director allows one device–for instance a solid state drive or a tape drive or disk drive–to be implemented in one location and be available to all the connected systems, even if they don’t have the drivers for the direct connection to the storage device. “What this allows,” Seals says, “is an incremental data retention option for those who determine they can’t afford high availability.”
iSam Blue, which is also a distributor for high availability software, is selling Storage Director software pre-packaged on X86 gear. For more information on the Storage Director product, see iSam Blue’s website at isamblue.com or Tributary’s website at www.tributary.com.