Storserver Appliance Serves Up
Net Backup"> Sites looking for a self-contained backup system should consider StorServer Inc.s S Series 10000 appliance, which provides network backup, data archiving and disaster recovery. Although StorServer calls this an appliance, and it does provide appliancelike ease of use and quick rollout, the S10000 is actually a server running backup software hooked to an AIT tape library.The S10000 has a base price of $19,900 and IT managers can upgrade to AIT-2 or AIT-3 tapes to accommodate network data growth. Scaling up means incurring a significant expense: Upgrading to AIT-2 drives runs a bit more than $4,000, and scaling to AIT-3 drives costs roughly $7,700. eWeek Labs would also like to see StorServer support other tape formats, so IT managers would have more storage choices. The Netfinity server comes pre-installed with Windows 2000 Server and handles all backup tasks via IBMs TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) 4.1 software. It has RAID support, and IT managers can pay extra for another NIC, but the system lacks built-in redundant power supplies or failover capabilities. In tests, we found the S10000 easy to set up because the hardware and software are preconfigured. We needed only to change network settings and install the client agent on the systems on our test network. The S10000 appliance stores backup data in the TSM servers 30GB disk cache and restores data from the same source. Data in the disk cache is archived to the AIT library, and multiple archive copies can be made for off-site data storage. We backed up and restored the Exchange server data fairly quickly over the network with the TSM server. Backing up the data and restoring it from the tape library took longer, as expected.
The S10000, which shipped last month, comprises an IBM Netfinity xSeries 200 server and a StorServer AIT library. The xSeries 200 server has a single 1.13GHz Pentium III processor, 256MB of RAM, a 30GB hard drive with RAID support and an embedded 10/100M-bps Ethernet adapter. The AIT tape library has dual Sony Electronics Inc. AIT-1 drives and 15 tape slots for a total native storage capacity of more than 500GB.