ADIC to integrate disk and tape backup

Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) is set to announce a new storage array Monday that’s designed to speed up and improve the reliability of tape backups by integrating with users’ existing backup software and tape libraries.

The Pathlight VX will be a RAID 5 (redundant array of independent disks) system that houses as many as 40T bytes of serial ATA (AT attachment) disks. It is designed to work with backup software from major vendors like Veritas Software Corp. and Legato Systems Inc.

Users won’t have to change their tape backup software to use the Pathlight because ADIC’s specialized I/O controller contains software that makes it appear as a regular tape library to most backup software products, according to Scott Hamilton, ADIC’s director of product management. But by shifting from tape to Pathlight’s disk-based storage, however, they should get better performance and reliability than they would with tape. “It’s going to provide better performance for both backup and restore – particularly for restore – and it’s going to provide better fault tolerance,” he said.

The Pathlight’s I/O controller is also designed to move data directly from the Pathlight to tape libraries, so administrators can also create tape backups without using any network or system resources, Hamilton said.

The new array will be available in December 2003. Full pricing for the Pathlight VX will be announced at around that time, but it will start at under US$200,000 for a 10T byte system, according to ADIC.