Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager

Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries
Media Migration Manager Streamlines
Flow of D2D2T Backup
April 2009
Cybernetics has been in the business of data protection for over thirty years. Our data storage and backup solutions are designed to capitalize on proven technology for the most cost-efficient and data-protective solutions. Cybernetics recently announced the release of the newest feature set for the HSTC virtual
tape library engine – media migration management.
This is now a standard feature in all Cybernetics VTL models:
miSAN V Series
HSTC RAID
iSAN V Series
Who needs tape backup?
While disk-based backup is arguably the best solution for current, immediately accessible backup data,
the advantage of tape for archives is much more than the longevity of decades for the tape media. With
tape, the medium is not dependent on a single device for recovery. If a tape drive has a failure, the media
can be read in another drive. Cybernetics makes it easy and affordable to create multiple backup tapes if a tape media fails, another backup tape can be recovered. By contrast, recovery from a disk array is
completely dependent on the health of the disks in that array. Even if there are 100 backup copies on a
RAID array, not one of them can survive catastrophic failure on that RAID.
Tape is the best solution for:
Legal Compliance for Archives
Point in Time Archives
Robust Recovery Options
If tape is the safest and most economical medium for long-term
archives, why does it seem to be losing market share?
In the 1990’s, as faster linear tape drives were released, an issue developed that hit straight to the heart of
reliability for tape backup. Tape is primarily a linear technology, and tape drives are not designed for the
variable rate data streams common for backup servers. The tape drives were simply too fast for normal
network backup. When a streaming tape drive is starved for data due to variable transfer rates, it goes
into a repositioning mode, best described as “shoe-shining”. This back and forth thrashing is very hard
on the tape drive and the media, resulting in tape backup failures. Cybernetics innovated the first virtual
tape library – the HSTC (High Speed Tape Cache) - very specifically to make tape backup reliable and fast
again. Cybernetics engineers virtualized the RAID array to present as tape, capable of accepting concurrent streams of backup data at varying rates of speed. RAID can accept the highest and the lowest rates
of speed with absolutely no negative impact. After the servers have completed their backup, the HSTC
streams data directly from high speed RAID over a dedicated SCSI bus to the tape drive to sustain the
optimum, maximum speed to tape. It reduces overall dependency on tape, and more importantly, it dramatically improves the reliability of tape drives and media. Today, this HSTC engine is available in three
hardware platforms to meet the needs of the smallest networks to the largest enterprises: miSAN V
Series, HSTC RAID, and iSAN V Series.
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Streamlines Flow of D2D2T Backup
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© 2009, Cybernetics. All Rights Reserved
What is the HSTC and how does it work?
The HSTC is an iSCSI SAN backup solution with a feature rich menu for virtualizing disk to appear as tape
backup devices. A single unit can be configured to function as several independent tape backup devices,
to consolidate backup across a network or enterprise. Virtual tapes are assigned to virtual tape drives
and virtual tape libraries to support backup for a variety of servers, operating systems and backup software products. Each virtual tape device can operate independently of and concurrently with the others.
The HSTC moves selected virtual tapes to removable tape on demand, or automatically according to
user-defined parameters, and the migration is performed in a completely serverless mode.
VT1
VT2
VT3
VT4
VT5
VT6
VT7
PT1
PT2
PT3
PT4
VT9
VT10
VT11
VT12
VT13
VT14
VT15
VT16
VT17
VT18
VT19
VT20
VT21
VT22
VT23
VT24
VT8
PT5
PT6
PT7
PT8
PT9
PT10 PT11 PT12
PT13 PT14 PT15 PT16 PT17 PT18 PT19 PT20 PT21 PT22 PT23 PT24
LT1
LT2
LT3
LT4
LT5
LT6
LT7
LT8
LT9
LT10
LT11
LT12
LT13 LT14 LT15 LT16 LT17 LT18 LT19 LT20 LT21 LT22 LT23 LT24
Virtual Tapes
Physical Tapes
Long Term Archives
How is the HSTC different than other VTLs?
The new Media Migration Manager feature within HSTC manages each phase in the life of backup data as
it flows from near-line disk to removable tape media in an archival tape library. Ingenious and elegantly
simple, the HSTC is designed to maintain the most current backup files on high-speed disk for fast
restore, while older backup files are pushed out to removable tape media in the archive tape library. This
migration feature is serverless, and completely automated.
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Streamlines Flow of D2D2T Backup
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© 2009, Cybernetics. All Rights Reserved
The Cybernetics VTL is configured to present itself to the backup software as an exact image of the
archive tape library – even if there is a disparity between the number of virtual and removable tapes.
Each virtual tape is logically associated with a removable tape, and all virtual tapes are migrated to a
removable tape automatically. Every virtual tape is identified according to its eligibility for use in a new
backup job, and as near-line virtual tapes are overwritten, the removable media tape copy remains in the
long-term tape archive library. The Cybernetics Media Migration Manager synchronizes the backup catalogs for both virtual and removable tape libraries to seamlessly traverse virtual and removable tapes, with
the intelligence to determine the most expedient path for backup or restore. If the data resides on virtual
tape, the restore commences from the disk array. If the data has been migrated out of the virtual tape
library, the backup software will load the tape for restore from the tape drive. Most importantly, the
process is completely automated by the HSTC Media Migration Manager, which works with any backup
software product that supports tape.
VT1
VT2
VT3
VT4
VT5
VT6
VT7
PT1
PT2
PT3
PT4
VT9
VT10
VT11
VT12
VT13
VT14
VT15
VT16
VT17
VT18
VT19
VT20
VT21
VT22
VT23
VT24
VT8
PT5
PT6
PT7
PT8
PT9
PT10 PT11 PT12
PT13 PT14 PT15 PT16 PT17 PT18 PT19 PT20 PT21 PT22 PT23 PT24
LT1
LT2
LT3
LT4
LT5
LT6
LT7
LT8
LT9
LT10
LT11
LT12
LT13 LT14 LT15 LT16 LT17 LT18 LT19 LT20 LT21 LT22 LT23 LT24
All 24 of the Virtual Tapes reside on Physical Tapes
The Media Migration Manager also facilitates the use of a small removable tape library as an export port
for a larger virtual tape library. As virtual backup tapes are archived to a small tape library, the virtual
tape is migrated out of the daily rotation stack of virtual tapes. As the removable tape copy is migrated
out of the removable tape library for off-site storage, a copy can be migrated into the VTL archive tape
space. The archive backup data can be recovered directly from the VTL until they are overwritten, eliminating the hassle of locating and transferring the actual offsite tape media for the tape restore process.
All Cybernetics VTLs running HSTC are available with options for hardware offload engines for data compression and data encryption. The hardware data compression feature can improve backup capacity by
as much as two times. If the data is compressible, it is easy to double accessible backup capacity without doubling cost. Hardware data encryption secures access from potential interlopers on disk and/or
on tape media. Both of these powerful features are implemented at the VTL hardware level, offloading
the heavy processing burden from network servers. All data is compressed before encryption, and
Cybernetics hardware data compression can actually improve throughput performance at the same ratio
as the capacity benefit.
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Streamlines Flow of D2D2T Backup
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© 2009, Cybernetics. All Rights Reserved
Who can use the HSTC?
The virtual tape devices in the Cybernetics HSTC support almost any operating system and backup software package. All hardware models with the HSTC VTL engine include both SCSI and iSCSI interfaces.
The SCSI ports can be configured for archival tape devices or legacy host connections. In addition, the
optional Cybernetics iClient module will connect a SCSI tape controller in any legacy computer system to
the iSCSI backup SAN. A single miSAN V Series running the HSTC VTL engine can provide backup for an
IBM iSeries, Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X, Netware, and more.
The HSTC can overcome host server limitations as well. For example, the IOPless tape controllers in the
IBM iSeries cannot support functionality of a tape changer, or tape library. The HSTC can auto-change a
pool of assigned tapes to a virtual tape drive to provide automated tape changer functionality.
All archival to removable tape is performed by the HSTC itself. Since removable tape archives are
streamed in a serverless mode directly to the tape drive, this data never hits the network after the initial
backup to disk. The archived removable tapes are universally compatible. There is nothing proprietary
about the tapes, so they can be recovered directly from any tape drive of the same format, any time and
anywhere. Cybernetics HSTC can even overcome tape media format incompatibilities. Every major tape
media format can be converted to new tape formats. For example, a legacy DLT tape can be read in as a
virtual tape, and written out to a removable LTO tape.
Does the HSTC de-duplicate data?
Data de-duplication is a buzz-word used to describe a number of technologies designed to reduce
capacity requirements for backup data. The most commonly advertised de-duplication techniques are
based on hashing algorithms. With the objective of eliminating redundancy to save space, backup data is
scanned for sequences that are identical to previously stored data sequences. This is accomplished by
reducing data sequences to hash codes – values calculated based on data bytes. If a sequence of data
returns a hash code that exists in a table, it is discarded and replaced with a pointer to the lone copy of
that sequence. With all hashing algorithms, it is possible for different data sequences to result in the
same hash code, but in absolute terms, the random statistical probability seems very low. Unfortunately,
when this probability is applied in the real world to the incredibly large number of non-random data bytes
within the gigabytes, terabytes and petabytes of enterprise data, corruption can become quite possible.
Over a large data volume, a hashing algorithm could discard a unique data sequence based on a hash
code that appears to represent a duplicate sequence. More problematic, a link could be updated, mispopulating thousands of pointer-dependent files. Since the very nature of backup is retention of redundant data so that any lost data can always be recovered, hashing based de-duplication is in general, pragmatically flawed. Cybernetics recommends a safer form of saving space, and the HSTC VTL makes it
easy.
The term de-duplication was not yet coined when the oldest forms of reducing backup redundancy were
implemented, but de-duplication is descriptive of incremental and differential backup methods. Backup
software writes out data that has changed since the last backup - unchanged data is not duplicated in the
backup file. If these differential backup files are written direct to tape media, restore can be tedious and
risky. With sets of differential backup tapes, a restore involves recovering each backup set sequentially,
and usually involves locating and loading multiple tapes. If any single tape is bad, the entire restore is a
failure. By contrast, virtual tapes are stored on a RAID array protected by redundancy, parity and a hot
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Streamlines Flow of D2D2T Backup
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© 2009, Cybernetics. All Rights Reserved
spare. The virtual tapes are accessed and restored at high performance RAID disk speed. With the
Cybernetics VTL, de-duplication through incremental or differential backup is a very compelling solution.
While the ratio of change level data to the full volume varies for every application, a good rule of thumb is
about 10%. Assuming daily differential backup, this is a 10:1 capacity reduction. Implementation of the
hardware compression feature of the HSTC VTL can further reduce backup capacity by about 50%, or
2:1. Combined, the daily incremental backup and data compression can reduce backup capacity by a
ratio of 20:1 – and these methodologies are completely lossless, so there is no risk of discarding unique
data. Admittedly, this is not trendy, but it is highly productive and extremely safe.
Cybernetics protects data through every phase.
Cybernetics solutions cover the full spectrum of data storage and data management. The miSAN and
iSAN D Series models are based on our SANDR iSCSI SAN engine to serve live, primary disk storage
across the network for virtual and standalone servers. These D Series disk solutions also incorporate
layers of front-line data protection for maximum day-to-day uptime with snapshot, high availability, and
replication/synchronization features. The V Series models with HSTC manage near-line and long-term
archival backup with a tiered strategy for archiving backup data as it ages. Paired, these technologies
provide the highest level of data accessibility and protection for today and tomorrow.
Cybernetics Virtual Tape Libraries Media Migration Manager
Streamlines Flow of D2D2T Backup
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© 2009, Cybernetics. All Rights Reserved
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