ADIC Adds Serverless Backup to Tape Libraries

Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC, added new Fibre Channel routers to its suite of Open SAN Backup Solution products, thereby building in support for direct disk-to-tape, serverless backup within SANs.

ADIC’s FCR 250 Fibre Channel router includes agents with embedded extended copy commands that lets the router manage data transfers directly between disk to tape, without having to move data through servers.

ADIC says serverless backup capability will increase usable SAN bandwidth by removing CPU bottlenecks and freeing network resources for other IT tasks.

"A server that is pumping data is using about 75 percent of its capacity, so taking backup off the server frees up that server considerably," says Steve Whitner, director of marketing at ADIC.

But the solution is not as simple as plugging the router into a SAN. The router relies on software applications, such as backup applications from Vertias Software Corp. (, Legato Systems Inc. (, and Computer Associates International Inc. ( to support the utility.

Software support is expected later this year.

Serverless backup is a step toward making networks storage-centric and data-centric, rather than server-centric. As a whole, the concept promises to use storage resources more efficiently.

The FCR 250 offers one Fibre Channel connection and two SCSI channels. It can carry SCSI over Fibre in direct-connect arbitrated loop, or switched-fabric SAN configurations. It also allows SCSI storage devices to be incorporated into Fibre Channel storage systems as sources or targets. ADIC says the fact that the FCR 250 agents support the SCSI-3 extended-copy protocol endorsed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA, helps to ensure that today’s SANs will be compatible with the next generation of SAN applications.

The router is available to all of ADIC’s Open SAN customers. The company’s Open SAN Backup Solutions combine open-system storage networking products from leading open-system providers, with professional services and integrated support to deliver a hardware and software SAN backup solution.

The new model is available either integrated into ADIC FibreReady tape libraries, or as a separate network component. Tape libraries from any vendor equipped with integrated FCR 250 agents will be capable of acting as self-initiating backup devices.

ADIC’s Whitner says that the company, moving forward, will offer integrated serverless backup in its line of products.

"Our plan is to phase out our nonserverless backup routers and to offer new libraries with the Fibre Channel router integrated," he says. "We want it to make it standard in our libraries."