ATL adds serverless backup for networked storage

IRVINE, CALIF. -- ATL is expected to roll out a versatile software/hardware package this week that will back up data directly from Network Appliance network-attached storage devices, LAN file servers and Fibre Channel storage-area networks, saving network bandwidth.

ATL's MC-100 Prism Management Card and software lets customers use Gigabit Ethernet links and the company's P-Series libraries to back up data from Network Appliance file servers, without adding network traffic. In addition, the Compact PCI-based card can be used with SCSI connections or an optional Fibre Channel integrated hub to back up server-based systems and SANs. Network Appliance had a 60% market share for NAS in 1999, according to Dataquest figures.

"By putting an Ethernet connection directly to the library, ATL is enabling customers to reap the benefit of networked storage, be it Fibre Channel or Ethernet," says Steve Duplessie, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group in Milford, Mass. "This is a pioneering move by ATL and one that will offer customers flexibility. Network Appliance file server customers gain by being able to move data directly from the filer to a tape device, bypassing the back-up server."

At the library

ATL manufactures four P-Series libraries ranging from the smallest P1000 with more than one terabyte of storage capacity to its largest library, the P6000, which has 22.8 terabytes of storage. With the MC-100, each ATL P-Series library can communicate via a Gigabit Ethernet port on a Network Appliance file server and transfer data over the Ethernet segment, which is independent of the customers' network. Multiple Network Appliance file servers can attach to a P-Series library.

The libraries can also connect to a SCSI controller for server-based backup, to a Fibre Channel switch or router for LAN-free backup or to a mixed Fibre Channel/SCSI/Gigabit Ethernet network. Internal tape drives are connected to the card by an integrated Ethernet hub. Each card is hot-swappable.

Backing up

The ATL Prism Management Card can start the back-up process using the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP). NDMP is an open standard for backing up NAS. The Network Appliance file sends and receives data to the P-Series library using NDMP.

The adapter also contains a browser-based interface that lets administrators perform tasks such as configuring IP addresses or controlling access to the library.

It works with back-up software from Veritas and Legato or any other vendor with NDMP-enabled software.

Alerts can be generated to e-mail if trouble occurs, and SNMP support lets the card communicate with Hewlett-Packard OpenView, IBM Tivoli, Computer Associates-Unicenter TNG and Sun Solstice management platforms.

The NAS back-up package will ship Nov. 1 starting at $145,000.

ATL is a division of Quantum's DLT and Storage Systems Group.

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