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NetApp Readies Virtual Tape

Network Appliance will roll out a virtual tape library (VTL) product next week based on technology it acquired by buying startup Alacritus 10 months ago. (See NetApp Annexes Alacritus.)

Sources say NetApp will introduce its NearStore VTL Tuesday as part of a webcast product launch including its Decru encryption appliances and plans for tighter integration with Symantec disk-backup software.

NetApp has been working on its VTL launch since gobbling up Alacritus for $11 million in April. Nearly all of the major storage vendors offer virtual tape capabilities through software partnerships, and a host of traditional tape library vendors and startups also sell VTLs.

VTLs are growing in popularity as users seek alternatives to tape and take advantage of low-cast SATA drives. VTLs use the same backup software as tape devices, but send data to disk instead. This speeds up the backup while allowing administrators to follow the same process as for their tape backup.

EMC launched its Clariion Disk Library using FalconStor software in April 2004. Hewlett-Packard struck an OEM deal with Sepaton last May for a VTL product; and IBM -- also in partnership with FalconStor -- rolled out VTL last October. (See EMC and HP Spin Disk, HP Upgrade Features OEM Crowd, and IBM, MS in Virtualization Push.)

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