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HP Delivers Its Next-generation Tape Library Architecture for Storage Area Networks
Intelligent Controller Design Offers Cost Efficiency of Tape with Reliability and Interoperability Requirements for Enterprise Data ProtectionPALO ALTO, CALIF., AUG. 7, 2003
HP (NYSE:HPQ) today introduced the next generation of its tape library architecture, which is designed to meet the specific enterprise storage area network (SAN) requirements for high reliability, interoperability and advanced functionality. The HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library Architecture brings a layer of intelligence to tape drives and the SAN for increased levels of data protection and offers customers the foundation to transform their businesses into adaptive enterprises that manage storage as a utility.
SAN backup provides a consolidated, cost-effective and scalable solution for enterprise data protection. However, requirements for real-time business flexibility, exploding customer data growth and constant configuration changes associated with growth generate network conflicts and SAN instability.
To help customers more tightly align business processes to IT and manage the complexities of SAN environments, the HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library Architecture features a controller-based design similar to that of network-attached disk arrays. The controller provides the consolidation, scalability, share-ability, security, reliability and redundancy requirements demanded by SANs.
The architecture can be deployed incrementally starting with interface controllers available today and can include new components as they become available.
"Secure, reliable and available data protection is the primary concerns of today's 24x7 SAN customers yet enterprises today face the challenge of managing greater data demands with the same or less resources," said Fara Yale, senior vice president at Gartner, Inc. "Incorporating intelligence and advanced capabilities into the tape architecture storage subsystem enables enterprises to achieve greater utilization of their tape assets while reducing costs associated with tape library management."
HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library: Self-aware, Network-aware Storage
As a foundation for ENSAextended, HP's strategy to deliver an adaptive infrastructure for storage, networked tape libraries must exhibit self-aware and network-aware storage attributes to automatically adapt to an enterprise's changing demands.
HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Architecture enables storage to securely self-manage and self-correct failures in real time to provide continuous availability of its services. Its layered, component-based platform makes it easy for enterprises to gradually transform their existing tape libraries into SAN-ready storage environments.
"With the HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library, HP is incorporating intelligence into the architecture to enable tape libraries and drives to function with greater business agility, improve storage asset utilization and simplify management through a centralized controller," said Rick Luttrall, director, nearline product marketing, HP Network Storage Solutions.
The first architectural component, now available, are embedded, integrated interface controllers that sit between the tape drives and the SAN to manage and simplify shared access in the network. Interface controllers offer device-level security to block disruptive input/output requests, use caching to respond for busy tape drives during backup or restore, and intelligently handle network SAN events.
They also offer increased network reliability through SAN-smart event reporting that can monitor, track and detect errors affecting SAN backup and restore operations as well as identify configuration issues and conflicts in the SAN.
Interface manager, expected to be available in September, provides a centralized point of knowledge for the library and the SAN to enable a rich remote and integrated management capability in the environment. It intelligently configures the system based on knowledge of the network and tape library, and it automatically adapts to changes. The interface manager contains an on-board Flash memory to maintain a persistent extended history of the tape library and storage network health to offer in-depth analysis and data collection to detect errors.
HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Architecture allows interfaces to be changed independently of the tape drive, freeing enterprises to upgrade their SANs while maintaining full investment protection of their existing tape libraries and drives -- and eliminating the costly and time-consuming need to back-track on interoperability.
The HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Architecture features a mature fiber channel interface offering the broadest heterogeneous SAN interoperability in the market. It supports Windows®, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, Tru64, AIX and NetWare; FC host bus adapters from HP, Qlogic, Emulex and JNI; edge and director-class FC switches from Brocade, and McData; 1 Gb and 2 Gb switches; and backup and management software applications HP OpenView, VERITAS, Computer Associates and IBM Tivoli.
"Data protection is a critical component of information lifecycle management that aligns the right technologies and solutions to track and manage data throughout its creation, distribution, back up/restore, archival and removal," said Luttrall. "The HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library further expands HP's portfolio of disk, tape, media and optical products to offer customers the broadest portfolio of solutions for automated data lifecycle solutions."
More information on the HP StorageWorks Extended Tape Library Architecture is available at http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/tapestorage.html.
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