StorageTek preps data backup

Gunning for its share of the growing market for disaster-recovery storage products and services, StorageTek Corp. is negotiating with a number of potential telco partners to deliver a complete IP disaster-recovery offering called StorageTek Lifeline.

StorageTek is looking to partner in an effort to reduce infrastructure costs, unlike Compaq Computer Corp., which last week added a Fibre Channel-to-IP bridge to its Data Replication Manager storage product, giving Compaq the ability to offer IP disaster recovery from a single vendor.

Louisville, Colo.-based StorageTek should be ready to introduce its Lifeline partners by April 2002, said Michael Stout, global vice-president of business continuity services at StorageTek.

StorageTek’s Lifeline will essentially be an “architectural template” for companies looking to implement a disaster-recovery program to back up vital storage resources, Stout said. The template-based approach should make it easier and less expensive for companies to deploy a storage disaster-recovery system, Stout added.

The base design of Lifeline will consist of a Sun Microsystems Inc. server connected to a company’s primary storage and running StorageTek’s hierarchical storage management software. Changes made to the primary storage network will be detected by the Sun server and transmitted out to four tape-based storage backup sites through a partnering telco, Stout said.

Policy-based management tools within Lifeline will assist companies in backing up only the data they choose, saving money on unnecessary disk and tape space.

StorageTek will leverage its savvy as an established provider of tape, disk, and storage software products to offer additional savings to customers looking to implement a Lifeline disaster-recovery program.

Customers trying to decide whether it makes more sense to go with a company such as StorageTek, which will outsource parts of Lifeline, vs. a company such as Houston-based Compaq, which can provide a homegrown disaster-recovery product, should turn to the history of their relationship with potential vendors, said Tony Prigmore, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group Inc. in Milford, Mass.

“The truth is that for the customer to trust any company to roll out a mission-critical application for them, it’s not going to matter if the company owns all the pieces of intellectual property, or if they have partners,” Prigmore said. “It comes down to trust.”