Quantum Brings Backup to NetApp Filers

Network Appliance Inc. and Quantum/ATL Inc. recently announced an alliance to develop, sell, and support backup/restore and data protection solutions that incorporate the technologies and products of both companies.

The agreement calls for ATL (www.atlp.com) and Network Appliance (www.netapp.com) to cooperate on the building of network storage-based backup solutions for NetApp filers using ATL tape libraries. The first product expected to reach fruition as a result of the agreement is the Filer SAN Solution (FSS), an integrated NAS and SAN data protection solution for Network Appliance filers. The two companies worked with Vixel Corp. (www.vixel.com) to develop the solution.

Arun Taneja, vice president of marketing at Vixel, says that Vixel will offer the switches to customers that want to connect multiple filers to share backup resources.

FSS is a Fibre Channel SAN-based shared tape library system that supports Network Appliance filers, managed by enterprise data storage software from Veritas Software Corp. (www.veritas.com) and Legato Systems Inc. (www.legato.com).

Jennifer Dmoch, senior manager of enterprise strategy at Network Appliance, says the overall solution enhances the availability and performance of her company’s filers, and increases manageability.

FSS enables Network Appliance customers to exploit their network-attached primary storage by making the data available within a SAN. Network Appliance says backup of large volumes of data represents a management challenge for its customers. The ability to connect filers to SAN-based tape libraries makes the data more available, as well as more protected.

The companies plan to target the product to NetApp filer customers seeking increased, LAN-free tape backup and sharing of tape resources. FSS can be used to remove the backup traffic from the LAN, reducing the performance impacts on end users and applications caused by typical LAN-based backup operations.

The system connects the NetApp filers directly to ATL libraries through a Fibre Channel switch. It is installed and supported by ATL. The companies claim that the resulting storage system will reduce administration requirements and increase the efficiency of data backup and recovery in NetApp filer environments.

ATL will make available the necessary hardware, except the NetApp filer, and provide the point of contact for technical support.

Network Appliance’s Dmoch says FSS is the beginning of the partnership, and that the companies will work with networking and software vendors to help ease the deployment of storage networking solutions that use ATL and Network Appliance products.