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All Aboard The Virtual Tape Backup Bandwagon

Last week’s introduction of Network Appliance’s first virtual tape library marked the latest entrant into an ever-crowded group of vendors looking to supplement tape for data backup.

The past few weeks alone also have seen new virtual tape library (VTL) products from Marlborough, Mass.-based Sepaton; Palo Alto, Calif.-based Data Domain; Fremont, Calif.-based 3PAR; and Melville, N.Y.-based
FalconStor Software.

VTLs are disk-based arrays that are configured to look like tape libraries to host servers and to back up software. They allow data to be streamed to hard drives as if it were being stored on LTO or other formats of tape, with all backup and restore operations handled by a customer’s existing data-
protection software.

VTLs extend the capabilities of physical tape libraries with more than high speed, said Kathie Shenton, senior account manager at Select, a Westwood, Mass.-based solution provider.

Data still needs to be archived off-site, either on tape or via a disaster recovery provider, Shenton said. “Tape is portable,” she said.

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