Painless Backup is Not an Oxymoron

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Painless backup is not an oxymoron. Spectra Logic has been continuously inventing features and design that promote painless data protection. These innovations have accompanied the steady improvement in tape technology—drives and media—over the last decade, during which technological advances have improved tape reliability by more than 700%. “Advances in the coating of tape film, read-after-write data verification and powerful error correction codes provide confidence in the integrity of data stored on tape. These robust tape cartridges are coupled with drive technology that features simpler tape paths and servo tracking systems to promote error-free tape handling.”1

Spectra products include both features and fundamental design that have contributed to Spectra Logic’s on-going mission to provide Tape Without Pain™.  The relevant hardware design components include:

  • Integrating connectivity to simplify installation and configuration. Benefit: easier to use/less frustrating to set up.
  • Using less data center real estate through high density/small footprint. Benefit: free data center space for other uses, reducing overhead costs specific to data protection.
  • Grouping media to reduce time spent handling individual tape cartridges—handle ten tapes at a time rather than one at a time. Benefit: much less tape juggling.
  • Designing the library modularly so customers have the option to quickly replace components rather than waiting for engineers to arrive at the site. Benefit: reduce downtime and frustration.
  • Providing a new way to scale libraries that moves existing components into a new chassis, reducing scaling costs and speeding the time it takes to scale a library. Benefit: reduce cost and save time.
  • Inventing nTier disk, which is designed specifically for secondary storage and seamless connection to tape, so that disk can handle tasks it is suited for, and tape can be dedicated to the tasks it does very well. Benefit: reduce frustration.
  • Creating a fail-over method to handle tape drive failure through global spare. Benefit: limit the effect problem drives have on data backup schedules and on data recovery.

To list just a few of the features that support tape without pain:

  • Providing  Media Lifecycle Management (MLM) that tracks tape health, letting IT staff identify failing or ailing tapes before data is at risk. Benefit: substantially increase backup/recovery effectiveness.
  • Providing a Hardware Lifecycle Management feature that monitors hardware use and recommends maintenance as appropriate. Benefit: no surprises.
  • Providing a method of submitting incidents online, so that data about the library and organization is at hand and appended to trouble-tickets when they are opened. Benefit: save time, reduce frustration.
  • Encrypting data while it is backed up and managing keys through a single interface. Benefit: simplifying encryption so IT staff can protect data at rest.
  • Giving customers the option of using remote support for troubleshooting. Benefit: reduce frustration, speed problem identification and time to resolution.

Spectra Logic’s commitment over the long-term to backup without pain is supported by the release of features over the years, as shown here: 

Tape Without Pain is an achievable goal through the use of LTO tape technology and Spectra data protection products—libraries and disk.

1. Beech, Debbie. “Best Practices for backup and long-term data retention” Sylvatica Whitepaper. The evolving role of disk and tape in the data center. June 2009