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Bolstering Business Continuity

Quantum's Guardian 4400 Linux server gives customers the option to fire off snapshots of information automatically throughout the day without shutting down the network.

IT execs looking for an affordable boost in their business-continuity strategies may want to consider Quantum Corp.'s network-attached storage server.

Typically, companies back up their data overnight when the network is idle--a practice that leaves each day's new data exposed until sundown. But Quantum's Guardian 4400 Linux server gives customers the option to fire off snapshots of information automatically throughout the day without shutting down the network or interfering with user access. The device starts at $4,300 and is believed to be the least expensive of its kind that can back up during business hours.

The 4400 comes with a SCSI drive on board, which means it can communicate with tape libraries in the data-block format the libraries require. The 4400 also transfers files at about 20 Mbytes per second and contains high-availability components such as hot-swap drives and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available now, a 4400 with 640 Gbytes of capacity is priced at $5,500; 480 Gbytes is about $4,300.

One customer wants to use the product to alleviate problems he has when replicating data from Microsoft's SQL Server. Maury Myar, chief technology officer at money-managing firm Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn LLC, wants to get a 4400 in place at each of the company's four primary sites next month. He says he's fed up with trader-supporting databases that are only backed up nightly. "With the image of the database on the 4400, I can grab copies of files any time I want and eventually pass them to the tape libraries," Myar says. "Instead of replicating, I'll do snapshot backups."

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