UNH CIS Signals

CIS Implements Virtual Tape Library Hardware

Ken Mikelinich

October, 2008

Virtual Tape LibraryAs part of Computing and Information Services’ ongoing commitment to streamline its business processes and replace aging equipment, CIS is adopting new hardware called Virtual Tape Library (VTL). Benefits of the new VTL solution include enabling the University to reduce power, space, and cooling requirements while gaining significant processing capabilities and efficiencies.

A VTL is an efficient and scalable disk-based backup environment designed to deliver data protection to the campus’ core data center. With data on disk, restore service levels are higher, media handling errors are reduced, and more recovery points are available on fast recovery media. The software that runs on this device encompasses two major technologies: data compression and data de-duplication. The combined effect of these technologies can result in theoretical storage ratios of 40:1. Or more simply put, 40GB of data can be squeezed down to 1GB.

Data compression takes repeating patterns in the data stream and encodes them in a more concise manner. Typical compression ratios for random data streams are about 2:1. Just like in a real tape drive, this process is done on the VTL hardware, so it does not affect performance. Data de-duplication is a process whereby only the unique data is stored. This essentially eliminates the redundant data by removing the duplicate data and storing only one copy. A good candidate for this reduction technology would be a group of E-mail messages with the same attachment. In this particular case only one instance of the attachment would be stored.

The various considerations for selection of the VTL and data de-duplication solution included performance, scalability, integration and ease of use. The solution chosen was a Sepaton S2100-ES VTL running DeltaStor data de-duplication software. The new VTL solution also integrates well with the University’s current backup systems, thereby maximizing initial value. Deploying this solution will allow CIS to continue backing up mission-critical data in alignment with the University’s standard backup policies and evolving disaster recovery plans.

Please visit sepaton.com/news/news_item.php?news_id=118 to learn more about the solution chosen, the benefits and to review a recent news release.