StorageTek, FilesX launch software for disk-based recovery

Network World Fusion (US)

Two companies, one an established storage vendor and the other a start-up, are introducing products that let users easily restore data from their storage area networks (SAN) and direct-attached storage.

Storage Technology Corp. and FilesX Ltd. separately will announce software that takes advantage of users’ propensity to back up data to disk as a staging area before archiving it to tape.

StorageTek’s EchoView consists of a server with disk space that sits between the file servers being backed up and the backup server and tape libraries. It is aimed at recovering data from intermediate storage such as inexpensive Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) drives. Data from this intermediate location can be archived to tape later.

EchoView takes snapshot backups of data and stores them to disk. The EchoView server protects up to 2.5 terabytes of data on SCSI drives. StorageTek will introduce an ATA-based version of EchoView this summer. With EchoView, users don’t have to take down their applications for backup like they do with slower tape. It provides iSCSI or Ethernet connectivity to the network. Users can restore data as files or volumes. It works with Windows, Solaris and Unix.

The EchoView E400, which protects up to 400G bytes of data, starts at US$50,000. It is available now.

FilesX’s Xpress Restore is aimed at restoring data from Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Oracle database applications stored on disk rather than tape. It is an online snapshot backup-and-recovery system that resides on any Intel server and restores data from Window NT File System (NTFS), Unix File System, SGI’s CXFS and Linux file systems. FilesX software is able to restore data based on files, applications or volumes.

Using Xpress Restore, users can restore files from within Windows Explorer. Rather than having to find a file by from a backup tape, users of Xpress Restore can find files by date range, content contained in files or file name.

For application-level restores, Xpress Restore supplies a tool that lets users restore individual e-mail messages. Application-level restores of SQL Server and Oracle databases will be supported in the future. System-level recoveries are done by restoring volumes rather than individual files.

The company claims that its product works with other vendor’s snapshot backup packages. For instance, if it was installed next to EMC’s TimeFinder, users would use the EMC software to make the data replications necessary and use Xpress Restore to recover data if need be. Users would use software such as Legato Networker or Veritas NetBackup to back up data from the intermediate disk drive to tape.

FilesX, founded in 2000, is headquartered in Southborough, Mass., and has received US$12 million in finding. The company competes with start-ups Revivio and Viant, which also make disk-based restore software but are focused on block-level restores where every bit of changed data is backed up when it changes, not on a scheduled basis.

Xpress Restore is currently in beta, with FilesX expecting the product to be available later this quarter for under $50,000. It installs on a 3-inch-high industry-standard server and connects to servers and Fibre Channel-attached storage.