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HP improves backup-to-disk features

Cashing in on the wave of interest in disk-to-disk backup, HP has upgraded its Data Protector software to support continuous backups and the ability to recover directly from the target.

Hewlett Packard Co. has revamped its backup and recovery software, adding over 200 new features, including backup to disk enhancements that it claims will dramatically speed up recovery times.

HP OpenView Data Protector Version 5.5 improves the backup process with continuous backup of transaction log files, tape virtualization and speeding up slow clients by backing up multiple hosts in parallel, the company said. A new object copy feature saves space and costs by copying only portions that have been added during a selected period. This capability also enables migration from disk to tape and between different tape types.

Devin York, director of financial systems at Continental Airlines, is moving from 5.0 to 5.5 to bring disk-based backup into his environment. He said a key enhancement in the latest version is the ability to recover directly from tape should the disk go down. "I'd be leery of using disk-to-disk backup without this feature," he said.

York has stuck with HP through its recent tough times, partly because he'd have a difficult time selling a new backup project to anyone, he said. "Backup isn't sexy -- it's hard to sell to a VP, to disrupt a system with new software … It's a huge boon not to have to blow everything away that's already there."

Apparently, plenty of other users feel the same way. HP has approximately 20,000 customers still using its Data Protection software, previously called OmniBack.

Tiered storage within a single system

Separately, HP announced that its StorageWorks MSA1500 cs supports the concurrent attachment of both SCSI and SATA disk enclosures behind a single controller shelf. By integrating low-cost SATA hard drives and enclosures with SCSI drive enclosures, the MSA1500 cs lets users segment data between classes of storage according to performance and reliability requirements based on the relevance of data and frequency of access.

The MSA1500 can support up to eight attached SATA enclosures delivering up to 24 terabytes (TB) (using 96 GB to 250 GB SATA disk drives) of raw capacity and up to four SCSI enclosures can be attached for a raw capacity of up to 16 TB (using 56 GB to 300 GB SCSI disks). The MSA 1500 cs is available today starting at $8,995.

WORM friendly LTO-3

Following announcements by Quantum Corp. and IBM for LTO-3 tape, HP has unveiled its third-generation Linear Tape-Open (LTO) format tape drives. HP's Ultrium 960 tape offers 800 GB of compressed capacity and performance at a 160 megabytes per second (compressed transfer rate. The higher capacity should reduce the costs associated with data protection by requiring fewer data cartridges to complete backups.

HP claims its LTO-3 product is the first drive to support write once, read many (WORM) data cartridges for a more secure method of archiving data. Expected availability for the tape drives is December 13, with an estimated starter price of $5,549.

Entry-level optical jukeboxes

Lastly, HP has expanded its portfolio of Ultra Density Optical jukeboxes with the entry-level StorageWorks Optical 700ux and 1100ux. The jukeboxes offer direct attach or Fibre connectivity for archival storage from 720 GB to 1.1 TB in either WORM or rewritable formats. The jukeboxes are available today starting at $7,975.

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