Sony Electronics Inc. is combining tape drives and software to create a LAN-free tape backup system.
PetaApp, which is available now, is a combination of Sonys DTF (Digital Tape Format)-2 tape drives and its PetaBack software.
By using 24MB-per-second drives and a direct SCSI or Fibre Channel connection to tape systems, instead of using an IP network, performance can be enhanced to a theoretical 4 terabytes an hour, according to Tom Yuhas, general manager and director of Sonys Data System Solutions Group, Business System Solutions.
The PetaApp system is more than just two products bundled together, said Yuhas, in Park Ridge, N.J. It also has new software for NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) and SNMP, plus a Linux-based terminal server.
Thats all shipped turnkey with users choice of an eight- or 16-port, 1GB-per-second switch from Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Yuhas said.
PetaApp pricing, with labor included, will start at about $235,000 for a 7-terabyte system. Future versions will likely support Sonys future tape formats and 2GB-per-second switches from Brocade, of San Jose, Calif., when theyre available.
"I have not heard from Brocade as to when [they will be available], but Id expect in the next six months," Yuhas said.
Although the system is expensive and has competition from IBM, Hitachi Ltd.s Hitachi Data Systems division and Storage Technology Corp., it is still a solid offering, according to Bob Abraham, president of Freeman Reports, in Ojai, Calif.
"Its [attached to] high-dollar ticket items anyway, and those kinds of systems require extraordinarily high-capacity" backup products, Abraham said. "Theres very few choices."
Sonys strategy of using high-performance, well-established DTF-2 tapes and selling a complete bundle is "certainly a logical way of doing things. To build your own at this level doesnt make a lot of sense," Abraham said.