HR outsourcer switches from LeftHand to Compellent for SSDs; plus, the role of VTLs

Headlines: HR outsourcer switches from HP Co. LeftHand iSCSI SAN to Compellent's Storage Center. The company also adds SSDs to prevent latency problems.

Storage channel news roundup for Sept. 29 to Oct. 6, 2010

AlphaStaff switches from LeftHand to Compellent for SSDs, keeps iSCSI SAN

AlphaStaff recently switched from Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. LeftHand iSCSI SAN to Compellent's Storage Center. Although they've continued to use iSCSI for its simplicity, they also added SSDs to prevent latency problems.

AlphaStaff originally implemented a LeftHand Networks SAN in 2004 in order to handle its client companies' payroll and benefits processing. The LeftHand iSCSI SAN helped with AlphaStaff's HR duties as it expanded from 6,000 employees to 80,000 employees.

Read the full story on AlphaStaff and then read more about iSCSI SANs in this article.

Are VTLs a holdover or are they vital for the future?

Through the years, VTLs have established themselves as an important addition to tape. But because of their connection to tape plus the amount of people moving away from tape as their first tier backup option, VTLs can be viewed negatively. "Some people don't want to talk about VTLs. There is a myth that it is an old tech or that VTLs are dead," said Greg Schulz, founder and analyst at StorageIO Group. But in fact, Schulz, analysts and users said VTLs are very much alive and remain a vital part of the data backup infrastructure.

Chris Mohr, a network analyst at Pinnacle Health, a nonprofit hospital near Harrisburg, Penn. believes VTLs are a good choice for data backup. His company manages about 40 TB of data storage in total running across an EMC Corp.-based storage area network (SAN). FalconStor Software VTL was added to that storage infrastructure a few months ago. Because the VTL has data deduplication, offering up to 20:1 compression ratios, the actual "landing space" is only about 8 TB -- plus another 8 TB to handle the dedupe activity. And that's nearly enough to handle all of Pinnacle Health's 40 TB of storage.

Read the full story on the role of VTLs in the future of backup.

EMC releases NetWorker 7.6 SPI with Data Domain Boost

EMC Corp. this week released its EMC NetWorker 7.6 SPI with support for Data Domain Boost (previously pre-announced at EMC World), along with additional features such as deduplication, simplified cloning, checkpoint restart and a capacity-based licensing model so customers can purchase the NetWorker backup application based on the amount of source data protected.

EMC first announced this software at EMC World, noting that it can speed data backups by offloading some of the data dedupe processing to the backup server. Data Domain Boost is sold as a software option and is supported by Symantec Corp's NetBackup and Backup Exec backup software. Now that EMC NetWorker supports Data Domain Boost, EMC execs state that it can improve performance by 50%. Data Domain Boost can also do target dedupe, much like Symantec's OpenStorage API, but Data Domain Boost also offloads processing to the server.

Read the full story on EMC NetWorker's support for Data Domain Boost.

eFolder completes integration of backup and email archiving with ConnectWise

eFolder, a provider of data protection services, announced that it has integrated its remote and local backup and email archiving services with ConnectWise software, a company that provides business automation services for resellers and MSPs.

Several features have been added with this integration. When a service ticket is created in ConnectWise, eFolder identifies warnings or failures with the customer's backup or service. New billing features include automatic updates of capacity usage. And reports now show network health, backup statistics and disk usage. These new features can potentially improve customer reporting and operational efficiency as well as address backup, recovery and service issues more effectively.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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