Server-Side Cache

Virtual Tape Library

For sure, physical tape backup infrastructure is a legacy in the modern world of IT technologies, but there are few reasons why organizations keep holding on to them. These include inexpensive storage, even comparing to modern high capacity SATA spindles, long-term archiving capabilities, and regulatory requirements that a lot of companies are forced to adhere to.
Problem
While delivering certain benefits, physical tapes also bring considerable challenges. The most significant one is that backups performed with physical tapes take a long time since the amount of data that needs to be backed up is growing every day. Thus, the backup process can’t fit the backup window and overlaps with production workload, creating two problems:
  • System performance gets decreased significantly
  • Risk remaining without a backup, leaving the data unprotected and regulatory requirements violated
Also, there are other reasons, why you should consider moving to virtual tapes. The process of storing physical tapes and performing backups is all manual. That means, there always has to be some dedicated staff to move tapes around, resulting in a certain degree of failure due to the human factor, and additional management costs. Furthermore, as tapes are taken out often, they get deformed over time, not to mention issues when dirt gets into them making tape media unreadable.
Backup to tape takes a lot of time and does not fit into backup window
Solution
StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) eliminates the need for the legacy tape-based backup infrastructure by converting the inexpensive, high capacity SATA drives into virtual tapes. StarWind VTL effectively solves all the problems around physical tapes while delivering significant benefits.

VTL significantly accelerates the backup process since it runs on SATA HDDs which are faster compared to traditional physical tapes. Thus, backups take less time and easily fit into the backup window, so there’s no overlapping of the backup process with production workloads. As the result, the performance of the production system remains permanently high and there is no risk that the backup will be corrupted or lost.

The backup process becomes more simple and automated since there is no more need to physically move the tapes. You can easily perform backups, create new virtual tapes, and move them between your nodes – all from a single interface. Therefore, less staff is needed to maintain the backup infrastructure, resulting in lower management costs and higher flexibility.

Additionally, StarWind VTL allows implementing Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape (D2D2T) backup strategy where 1 copy of the data is created on each stage of the backup process, resulting in additional data security.

Organizations that are not bound to strict regulatory requirements of storing backups on physical tapes can benefit from the Disk-to-Disk (D2D) backup strategy which significantly accelerates the backup process.

What is more, StarWind VTL seamlessly integrates into the existing backup infrastructure with no need to rebuild it from scratch by allowing to easily switch from D2T to D2D2T backup strategy.
Backup is performed on faster HDD, then to tape or public cloud in background mode
Conclusion

StarWind Virtual Tape Library easily integrates into the existing backup environment without changing the established data vaulting processes. StarWind VTL significantly boosts the backup process, allowing it to fit the backup window while maintaining a constantly high level of system performance and eliminating the risk of backup failure. It makes the backup management process extra simple and automated since everything is done by the software and you don’t have to mess around with physical tapes.

To download the software products, please, make your choice below. An installer link and a license key will be sent to the e-mail address you’ve specified. If you consider StarWind Virtual SAN but are uncertain of the version, please check the following document Free vs. Paid. The recent build of Release Notes. A totally unrestricted NFR (Not For Resale) version of StarWind Virtual SAN is available for certain use cases. Learn more details here.

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