ADIC Combines Disk and Tape Backup

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Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) has unveiled a unique disk-to-tape backup solution, the ADIC Pathlight VX.

The company bills it as the first product to combine the benefits of disk and tape in a single data protection solution. Analysts aren’t completely sold on it being an industry first, but they do agree that it’s pretty nifty technology.

“There are lots of disk-to-disk backup solutions available from many vendors,” says Dianne McAdam, senior analyst and partner at Data Mobility Group. “However, some of these vendors do not have easy interfaces to take the data on disk and eventually store it on tape for long-term archive.”

“ADIC’s Pathlight has built an integrated disk-to-disk-to-tape product,” McAdam continues. “Customers back up data to Pathlight on disk, and software within the Pathlight product will eventually migrate the data to tape … It is an automated, integrated solution.”

“They have the unique capability to layer a file system on top of disk, optical, and tape, allowing their StorNext management suite software to move information from one device to another,” says Steve Kenniston, technology analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “It is my belief that in the long run, something needs to be done to make information recall easier, and I think it happens with a file system, not media management.”

“The Pathlight with VTL capabilities provides an easy way to get to all the characteristics of tape with the performance and HA (High Availability) features of disk,” Kenniston adds.

ADIC says its Pathlight VX gives enterprise IT departments disk performance and RAID reliability without requiring changes in how they backup, restore, and preserve data. The backup solution reduces backup and recovery times through a combination of random file access and the elimination of media loading. It supports automated export of standard format backup tapes, so it retains the advantages of traditional tape backup, including long term data security,
low cost scalability, and portability, according to the company.

“With Pathlight VX, backup and restore performance is boosted, RAID reliability is built in, and ownership costs stay low because the complete solution is designed to work transparently with users’ existing environments and procedures,” states ADIC sales and marketing VP Scott Roza.

Organizations can use Pathlight VX to cope with the problem of expanding data and shrinking backup windows by shifting the time when they write tapes. Data is written rapidly to the Pathlight VX disk array during the normal backup window, then, during the rest of the day, the data can be moved to the tape library in the background using an internal data mover and isolated connections to avoid slowing down application servers or increasing network traffic, the company says.

Control for the integrated system is provided through the same backup software used to manage conventional tape library architectures, so the increased performance and fault tolerance comes without requiring users to change their existing backup procedures or applications, according to ADIC.

ADIC’s Pathlight VX is currently available, with pricing starting at $190,000 for a 10 TB solution.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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