LaserVault Goes SCSI with New Backup Device
June 3, 2014 Alex Woodie
The ongoing flood of data and the low-cost of storage are leading customers in all industries to rethink their backup strategies. In the IBM i world, one backup vendor that’s building momentum in the field of tape displacement is Electronic Storage Corp., the Oklahoma company behind the LaserVault products. Last week, El Store announced the LaserVault UBD SCSI Express, a new edition of its Universal Backup Device product.
El Store launched its first UBD appliance in late 2010 to provide IBM i and Linux customers with a low-cost and easy-to-use alternative to a virtual tape library (VTL). The appliance is an X86 server that connects to the IBM i or Linux server via Fibre Channel and provides terabytes of RAID-protected storage.
Earlier this year, the company fleshed out its UBD lineup with UBD Synch, an optional feature that provides replication of compressed and encrypted backup data from a primary UBD appliance to a secondary appliance, or to a separate NAS file server. The company also offers cloud storage as an option.
With last week’s launch of the LaserVault UBD SCSI Express, El Store is now enabling IBM i shops to get access to its backup appliances through SCSI. For some, using SCSI is a more affordable option than using Fibre Channel adapters. And on older machines, users can simply unplug their SCSI-connected tape drives and plug in the new LaserVault SCSI device.
“The SCSI interface makes it easy and affordable,” LaserVault’s vice president of sales and support Rick Wilson says in a press release. “[Users] can simplify their operations, eliminate tape, and be able to do it in a way that won’t break the bank.”
While IBM stopped supporting SCSI disks for internal storage on Power Systems boxes several years ago, SCSI devices are still supported through the power of virtualization. An IBM i partition can support up to 32 virtual SCSI devices, as of IBM i 7.1 TR8.
The LaserVault UBD SCSI Express is equipped a 2 TB hard drive for daily backups and a 2 TB external USB-connected drive for making second copies of the backup for storage offsite. The device, which starts at $9,995, works with all IBM i backup commands and third-party products, like Robot/SAVE.
The new device also supports the UBD Synch option for data replication and encryption. El Store says the UBD SCSI Express can also be used as a gateway device to store backups on a NAS, SAN, or any deduplication appliance that supports CIFS, NFS, or SCSI connections. In this configuration, the LaserVault can feed IBM i data to secondary storage devices from NetApp, Quantum, Exagrid, NEC‘s Hydrastor, and EMC‘s Avamar and Data Domain.
“UBD is a great solution for IBM i users who want to eliminate the hassles and expense of tape media, and who want a faster and more reliable backup solution,” states LaserVault president Brad Jensen in a press release. “It’s for those companies who want to modernize their backups but don’t want to turn their operations upside down to accomplish it.”