ADIC Whips Out Big Disk

Preps disk option for tape libraries that backs up 1 TB per hour - but it starts at a cool $190K

September 24, 2003

2 Min Read
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Tape library vendor Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC) is getting ready to roll out disk options for its Scalar tape libraries -- claiming that it's the first company to fully integrate disk and tape into one system (see ADIC Does Disk-Based Backup).

Byte and Switch first reported on ADIC's plans to introduce a disk backup option in June (see ADIC Sticks In Some Disk).

ADIC is the latest tape vendor to jump aboard the disk-based backup bus. Already, companies including Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), and Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS) have introduced products that augment their tape systems (see StorageTek: The Next Disk Titan?, Quantum Digs Into Disk Backup, and our report, Disk Backup 101).

But ADIC claims that it is alone in its ability to handle disk as part of the tape backup process. The company's Pathlight VX option, which provides up to 40 Tbytes of ATA disk storage, works with existing backup and restore setups, appearing to applications as one or more logical libraries. The Pathlight VX also automatically handles the movement of data between disk and tape based on user-defined policies.

According to ADIC, these features eliminate the more complicated "dual-target" requirements of other disk-based backup approaches. "Backup is a mature process... We're not changing that," says Bryce Hein, ADIC's executive director of storage networking products.The Pathlight VX option, which mounts in a standard 19-inch rack, is able to back up and restore data at 1 Tbyte an hour. The typical target customer will have a primary data set to back up of 2 to 3 Tbytes per day, Hein says.

However, ADIC's disk option -- scheduled to be available beginning in December 2003 -- will carry a starting list price of $190,000 for 10 Tbytes. While Hein acknowledges that it's priced for high-end customers with high throughput needs, he also points out that high-end disk-backup systems from Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) are in the same ballpark.

"We're trying to address the enterprise-class customer," he says.

ADIC based the disk backup option on technology developed by V-Stor, a small tape virtualization company it acquired in May 2002 for an undisclosed sum (see ADIC Buys Virtual Tape Startup).

The Pathlight VX provides RAID 5 redundancy and 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity. The tape export functions will initially support only LTO-1 or LTO-2 drives, though the company says future versions will support additional formats.Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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