Gresham Makes Tape Virtual -

Gresham Makes Tape Virtual

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Gresham Enterprise Storage isn't a household name in data storage, but the UK firm hopes to change that.

Gresham says it has sold 4,300 licenses of its Gresham Clareti Enterprise DistribuTape (EDT) application, which helps IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) users improve the efficiency, manageability and reliability of their tape storage operations. The company says it generated those impressive sales numbers "with virtually no marketing support," relying on referrals and word of mouth.

This week, the company added support for Sun tape libraries and the Solaris x86 OS. The latest upgrade provides advanced resource management and network visibility features with the integration of Control Center, an application that provides single-point management for all TSM and Sun tape library resources.

Gresham hopes to turn its tape expertise into success in virtual tape (VTL) disk backup, an offering that scored high marks from Diogenes Analytical Laboratories. The company will soon follow last year's VTL launch with a second-generation product.

The new offering could include some sort of data reduction or capacity optimization technology, perhaps de-duplication, as well as support for additional vendors.

Keith Summers, managing director of Gresham Enterprise Storage, said the company has "plans to address customer requirements in this area. We have adopted the notion of 'capacity optimization' as a more inclusive term because different user applications will have different requirements and priorities. Some users may simply want to optimize the data capacity of their disk repository, others might need to optimize data transfer between sites, and still others may be concerned with optimizing processing power at different points in the process.

"Without launching into a full blown examination of all the issues, suffice it to say that Gresham understands that capacity optimization is not a binary question based solely on data de-duplication. Where, when and how capacity optimization is applied will vary based on users' requirements for performance, retention, replication and recovery of their data. As a result, Gresham is working with technology partners to bring forth capacity optimization solutions that will meet the varied needs of the user community."

Time will tell if Gresham can make significant inroads into the highly competitive VTL market — the company says it has "under 15" VTL customers so far — but it's certainly an entrant worth watching.

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