StoneFly Bundles IP SAN Appliance With CommVault Software

To cash in on the rising awareness of iSCSI as a low-cost way to optimize certain data-center storage functions, StoneFly Networks this week unveiled StoneFly Backup Advantage, an IP SAN-based

March 9, 2004

2 Min Read
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To cash in on the rising awareness of iSCSI as a low-cost way to optimize certain data-center storage functions, StoneFly Networks this week unveiled StoneFly Backup Advantage, an IP SAN-based disk-to-disk backup solution.

StoneFly Backup Advantage combines the San Diego-based company's Storage Concentrator i3000 appliance with Galaxy Express, a new entry-level version of CommVault Systems' QiNetix Galaxy backup and recovery software, said Bob Boggan, vice president of marketing and business development at StoneFly.

The i3000 is a Dell white-box server with preinstalled, StoneFly-developed software for routing SCSI traffic over IP networks. The appliance can be connected to Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet switches on the front for moving data to SCSI or Fibre Channel arrays over a metropolitan-area network (MAN) or a wide-area network (WAN).

Because the i3000 employs IP networks, it can be used to build low-cost SANs for small or midsize businesses or for departments of larger companies, Boggan said. The product can be used to migrate data from host direct-attached storage to a storage network based on Fibre Channel or IP connectivity. It also allows a Fibre Channel SAN to be extended over long distances via IP networks. Other applications include disk-to-disk backup and data replication over an IP network, he said.

A turnkey solution with an auto-discovery function, the i3000 can be up and running in less than 45 minutes, Boggan said. It works by virtualizing storage connected on the back end into logical volumes that the host server or servers treat as physical volumes, he said. The logical volumes can be configured and decommissioned as needed.The Galaxy Express software is an inexpensive version of the CommVault's Galaxy application and is aimed at networks of five to 12 servers, Boggan said.

Gordon Emerson, vice president of integration sales at Synegi, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider, said the StoneFly Backup Advantage bundle is a good way for a customer to try disk-to-disk backups. And as the customer environment grows, it can be upgraded to the full version of the Galaxy software, he said.

For many customers, disk-to-disk backup is a good replacement for tape-based backups, according to Emerson. "Tape backup software has always been a weak link in storage," he said. "It's always problematic. Eight of 10 solution providers will say that most problem calls come from backups."

The biggest challenge with the StoneFly bundle is convincing customers that IP SANs are ready for market, Emerson added. "A lot of people still think it's in the early-adoption phase," he said. "One customer recently went with a Fibre Channel SAN. He didn't need it; he could have used an IP SAN. He didn't need to spend the money."

Pricing for the bundle, which is expected to start shipping this month, starts at $29,795, which includes 1 Tbyte of storage, according to StoneFly.0

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