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EMC and HP Spin Disk

and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) unveiled disk products that provide a twist on traditional technology at the Storage Networking World conference here today.

EMC introduced the Clariion Disk Library that plugs into a SAN system (see EMC Intros Clariion Disk Library) to back up and retrieve data. EMC says it backs up and restores data significantly more quickly than tape, albeit at a stiff price premium. EMC also has licensed tape emulation software from FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC) for use in the new Clariion.

While EMC offers an alternative to tape, HP announced an option to its SATA drive based on a hybrid Fibre Channel technology developed with Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX). It calls the new drives Fibre Attached Technology Adapted -- or FATA, of course.

Let's look closer at EMC first: Using ATA drives and 3:1 disk compression, EMC positions its new Clariion disk library as an alternative to high-end enterprise tape libraries. EMCs disk store up to 58TBytes of usable storage and 174 TBytes using compression. The compression significantly decreases backup times, which have been a major headache. In a Byte and Switch survey of enterprise users last November, 41 percent of respondents said they expect to introduce disk backup to augment their tape infrastructure; and another 16 percent said they expect to replace tape with disk backup systems (see Backup Still a Pain in the Neck).
58 terabytes of usable storage and up to 174 terabytes using compression technology provided by the disk library.

Disk backup solutions are offered by a slew of companies: Alacritus Software Inc., Diligent Technologies Corp., MaXXan Systems Inc., Neartek Inc., and Sepaton Inc.

all have virtual tape hardware or software; and even tape vendors Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC), Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS), and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK)
offer disk-to-disk-to-tape backup systems. The difference in the Clariion product is that it looks like a tape library to the network and doesn’t require extra software or configuration changes.

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