HP Does the VTL Limbo

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HP on Wednesday unveiled a virtual tape offering that sells for a bit over $6,000, bringing VTL technology within reach of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs).

Dianne McAdam, director of enterprise information assurance at the Clipper Group, said HP doesn’t have much competition for its new VLS1002i, perhaps just Overland’s REO offerings. “There is a need for small, inexpensive VTLs for the SMB market,” she said.

Most VTL offerings offer more capacity and start at around $50,000, McAdam said.

The HP StorageWorks Virtual Library System 1002i (VLS1002i) is aimed at SMBs and remote or branch offices of enterprises that require high-performance backup and restore without overhauling existing infrastructures. HP says the VLS1002i is easy to set up and stores up to 1.5 terabytes of data, or up to 3 TB when using the integrated data compression feature.

Adam Thew, director of nearline marketing in HP’s StorageWorks division, said the VLS1002i was built from the ground up for the SMB market. HP partners with Sepaton on its higher-end VLS6000 VTL, but is not revealing its OEM partner for the VLS1002i. Thew said HP has done a lot of work to make the VLS1002i an easy-to-use, integrated solution, using in-house hardware, an Adaptec RAID card, iSCSI connectivity and browser-based management.

Pricing starts at $6,099.

HP also unveiled a new high-density, midrange HP StorageWorks MSL4048 tape library, which stores up to 19.2 TB in a compact, 4U design. The MSL4048 also offers integrated Web-based management for remote control and troubleshooting. Pricing starts at $11,300.

HP boosted its ProLiant Data Protection Storage Server (DPSS) offerings with an option for HP StorageWorks Data Protector Express. The software offers online backup of the DPSS replicas and system and an automated disaster recovery capability. Data Protector Express is integrated with the HP tape drive’s One-Button Disaster Recovery (OBDR) utility, which lets users restore a server’s operating system, software applications and data by pressing a button and following the on-screen instructions. Data Protector Express with OBDR can provide system recovery in less than an hour, HP says. Pricing starts at $979 and includes a year of support.

All HP tape drives and tape autoloaders now ship with Data Protector Express Single Server Edition software, and customers can download Data Protector Express ProLiant Edition at no cost to protect any new or installed HP ProLiant server.

Michael Smith, general manager of operations at Forbes.com, the most heavily trafficked business site on the Internet, is a happy user of the VSL6000 and the HP/Compaq MSL5000 tape library, which he said are “engineered with the absolute highest quality and reliability.” He said he might consider the VLS1002i for remote operations, but was most interested in HP’s expanded data protection offerings.

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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 Time.com, 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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