IBM To Resell VTLs With Better Fit Than ProtecTIER
March 28, 2018 Dan Burger
IBM has added two virtual tape libraries designed for IBM i environments to its reseller list. The VTLs, produced by Dynamic Solutions International, are designed for companies utilizing deduplication for data storage in circumstances where data is rapidly expanding and data storage investments are being preserved. The VTLs are expected to fill a niche that IBM’s ProtecTIER appliances have been unable to serve.
As data storage requirements increase, storage modules can be added to existing solutions, which allows data storage to scale. Dynamic Solution International‘s model DSI425-D24 was designed for small and midsize IBM i environments, while the DSI420-EVD was designed for large midsize to enterprise-sized IBM i environments. Both models are lower-priced options to IBM’s ProtecTIER family of data de-duplication appliances, which haven’t sold well, especially in the small to midsize market because of a high level of complexity and high prices. To serve this market better, there’s even a migration path from ProtecTIER to DSI VTLs for shops that are already waist deep in ProtecTIER complexities.
The 425 series includes three models: the D04, D16 and D24. Each uses the Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 processor and has self-encryption drives.
The D04 has logical storage from 5 TB to 20 TB (assuming a conservative 5:1 dedupe ratio), physical storage of 1.2 TB, 32 GB memory, and two 8 GB ports. It can handle 256 virtual tape drives and 4,000 virtual tape cartridges. It’s a 1U form factor.
The D16 has logical storage from 10 TB to 80 TB (assuming a conservative 5:1 dedupe ratio), physical storage of 4 TB, 96 GB memory and two 16 GB Fibre Channel ports. It can handle 1,024 virtual tape drives and 64,000 virtual tape cartridges. It’s a 2U form factor.
The D24 has logical storage from 10 TB to 120 TB (assuming a conservative 5:1 dedupe ratio), physical storage of 4 TB, 96 GB memory and two 16 GB Fibre Channel ports. It can handle 1,024 virtual tape drives and 64,000 virtual tape cartridges. It’s also a 2U form factor.
Software offerings for the DSI425 Series include DSI Conductor and DSI Tracker, which provide file tracking and added automation.
IBM i shops can set up high availability environments by pairing two DSI425-D24 appliances, each with the capability to scale up to 24 TB of physical storage space. The D24 model includes disk storage for deduplicated data.
Enterprise-level shops will take a closer look at the scalability of the DSI420-EVD, which avoids the removal of old storage when additional storage modules are attached. This model requires external disk storage arrays to store the deduplicated data. It can scale up to multi-petabytes of physical capacity.
For the big shops, external storage is required, such as IBM Storwize V5000, V7000, or the IBM SAN Volume Controller.
The 420 series is a single model powered by the Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 processor. Its internal storage capacity is 600 GB, with four Fibre Channel ports and four GbE ports. It handles 128 virtual libraries, 1,024 virtual tape drives, and 64,000 virtual tape cartridges. The DSI420-S32 comes with encryption-at-rest and encryption-in-motion.
DSI provides product support options for one to five years with the purchase of DSI VTL products. Comprehensive hardware and software level 1, 2, and 3 technical support and troubleshooting assistance are available for customers within the purchased support period.
As we’ve seen during the past dozen years, VTLs are established as a popular component in numerous storage strategies. Their best fit seems to be in organizations consolidating multiple backup devices (usually tape drives) with a single device that can support a variety of platforms.
Although many VTL vendors claim to support IBM i, few design their systems to work with the platform or provide the technical expertise to support customers’ implementations. Dynamic Solutions is one vendor that has done the work to support IBM i.