Tributary Bolsters VTL Software with NDMP Support
April 22, 2014 Alex Woodie
Virtual tape library (VTL) software maker Tributary Systems is now supporting Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) with a new release of its Storage Director VTL offering, which works with IBM i and other server types. The version 4.2 release also brings other NAS and data-pinning capabilities designed to streamline backups.
When installed on a X86 server or appliance, Storage Director enables customers to back up data from practically any host, including proprietary IBM Power Systems, System z mainframes, and HP NonStop machines, as well as industry standard Windows, Linux, and Unix systems.
In IBM i environments, Storage Director emulates an IBM 3584 LTO library. It can back up multiple LPARs simultaneously via standard Fibre Channel connections at speeds up to 1.4 GBps. All native IBM i backup methods (BRMS, SAVLIB, MMS, etc.) are supported, via VIOS or otherwise, and it also supports bare-metal restores, which gives it an edge over less native restoration methods. Support for 256-bit AES encryption and WAN replication round out the offering.
Support for the NDMP backup protocol gives Tributary another way to access data from host systems. NDMP was introduced over a decade ago by NetApp and Legato to reduce network congestions in LANs. In NAS environments, the NDMP protocol enables the backup to proceed from the NAS device that’s serving as primary storage directly to the backup storage device, without having to proceed through the backup server. This minimizes the movement of data, which is a good thing in this age of big data.
Most major providers of backup devices today support NDMP as an alternative to NFS, CIFS, OST, and various other protocols backup providers have devised. The IBM i server, alas, does not support NDMP. But by enabling its Storage Director product to support NDMP gives Tributary customers the capability to improve performance in other parts of the network, which is a good thing.
Version 4.2 also brings a new “copy NAS image” feature. According to Tributary, this feature enables virtual and physical tapes to be created from backup data Storage Director writes to a NAS file server. This enables rapid data restores without rebuilding files, the company says.
The new data-pinning feature introduced with Storage Director version 4.2 can benefit IBM i customers. According to Tributary, data pinning gives customers the option to keep specific data sets in high-speed cache for immediate restores, while also writing them to the backup target. “The data will reside at both places until overwritten by the backup application,” the company says.
For more information see the company’s website at www.tributary.com.