Network Appliance Backs New Standard

Vendor also will introduce enhanced backup and recovery hardware and software
Fresh off a quarter in which its revenue grew 15% year over year, Network Appliance Inc. is seeking a greater role in enterprise infrastructures by backing a new storage standard. This week, the network-attached storage vendor also will roll out upgraded backup and recovery hardware and software.

The Internet Engineering Task Force last week ratified the iSCSI standard, which lets large blocks of data move efficiently over IP networks. Network Appliance, whose basic storage devices work with files over IP networks, says it will add support for the standard to its entire product line immediately. Most storage vendors are expected to back iSCSI.

Joe Bishop, database systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

SnapVault saves time, says NASA engineer Bishop
If it works as expected, iSCSI will be an alternative to storage area networks based on Fibre Channel technology for moving large amounts of data quickly over IP networks. "The promise of IP storage is that it eventually will be less costly and less labor-intensive than Fibre Channel SANs," Yankee Group analyst Jamie Gruener says.

Upgrades include the NearStore R150 backup and recovery appliance, which offers up to 24 terabytes of storage, backs up data at 430 Gbytes per hour, and costs about a penny per megabyte. The vendor also will release an upgrade of its SnapVault backup and recovery software that will move data between servers and NearStore appliances. SnapVault's new capabilities will make it more competitive with products from vendors such as Computer Associates.

Joe Bishop, a database systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is testing SnapVault. "We've spent a lot of time backing up data one disk at a time," he says. "But with SnapVault on NearStore, we're able to consolidate the data from those disks. It used to take half an engineer's time, and SnapVault seems to bring that down to less than 10%."

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