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L.L.Bean Backs Up With SATA

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Storage Networking World (SNW) -- Serial ATA (SATA) technology continues to carve out its niche within enterprise data centers, although IT managers are split on the benefits of SATA-based backup.

During a presentation at the show here today, L.L.Bean storage engineer Sandy Rideout explained how her company took a gamble on SATA as part of an 11-month IT overhaul which slashed the firm's database backup times to two hours from more than seven.

As part of the project, L.L.Bean replaced a 50-Tbyte IBM 3494 tape library with two DS4100 systems, containing a total 65 Tbytes of SATA drives. Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) software runs the SATA system.

"[SATA] is a new technology and we're a company that traditionally doesn't like to be bleeding edge," explained Rideout, adding that the shift from tape to disk-based backup was a major cultural change. "Totally tapeless technology was very scary for us, but the idea that it is just a commodity was very appealing."

Speed was also a factor in the firm's ultimate decision. The tape-based backup system involved hundreds of tapes, and often resulted in "excruciatingly slow restores," according to the exec.

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