Overland Launches New Entry-Level VTL Appliance

A sophisticated disk-based backup, recovery and VTL unit holds and secures up to 2TB of data for about $5,500.

Overland Storage March 19 introduced a new disk-based backup, recovery and VTL (virtual tape library) appliance for small- to mid-size businesses as an alternative to similar disk storage packages produced by larger companies, such as HP, IBM and NetApp.

The REO 1500 is a complete package that aims to ensure reliable, unattended backups and near-instantaneous file recovery in an economically priced (approximately $5,500) appliance.

Overlands REO 1500 improves the capabilities of its predecessor, REO 1000, to deliver new levels of performance, including five-times faster backups as well as expedited restores of up to 2 TB of data, a company spokesperson said.


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The entry-level model also includes version 4.0 of Overlands REO Protection OS software for enhanced data protection intelligence and a more comprehensive set of options involving any combination of up to six VTLs, 32 virtual tape drives and 512 virtual cartridges.

"The REOs strengths are simplicty, affordability and flexibility," Brian Garrett, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass. told eWEEK.

"The flexibility part is really cool. The REO can be a virtual tape library (VTL) or a plain old disk target. Backup software works with both. As a disk target, it can also be used as a big shared drive on the network—and you can mix and match. Another cool flexiblity feature is the dynamic virutal tape. Its really powerful technology that saves capacity and money," Garrett said.

Key features of the REO 1500, according to the San Diego, Calif.-based company, include: a compact 1U base unit that holds 4x250 or 500 GB SATA II drives; RAID 5 data protection; HTTPS secure management to streamline remote monitoring; iSCSI connectivity; and a browser-based GUI for simplified configuration and management.

"I consider anything less than $10,000 highly affordable for a VTL solution," Garrett said.

"Overlands REO series has done very well in this class of entry-level backup to disk solutions—especially when compared to the rest of the market that tends to focus more on expensive enterprise-class FC (Fibre Channel) connected solutions. The REO 1500s iSCSI support makes it even more affordable, since you dont have to buy expensive HBAs (host bus adapters) and FC switches," Garrett said.

Payroll company saves substantial time on backup

For iSystems LLC, creators of the Evolution Payroll and Tax Management system for payroll service bureaus, protecting vital financial reporting data is a top business priority. The Colchester, Vt.-based company, which is co-located with sister organization PayData, one of the largest independent payroll service providers in the Northeast, relies on real-time replication to mirror daily payroll processing.

Over time, nightly full backups of the replicated data became increasingly laborious, taking more than 14 hours to complete and up to six hours a week to manage.

The idea of using disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) data protection to reduce its backup window was appealing but considered cost-prohibitive, said Ben Loscalzo, IT manager for iSystems.

"We didnt think disk-to-disk-to-tape backup and recovery fit our budget, so online vaulting and other tape-based solutions were evaluated," Loscalzo said.

"Fortunately our research brought us to Overland and we discovered that the REO 1500, combined with Overlands ARCvault 12-tape autoloader, gave us all the D2D2T functionality we required—at a price we could afford. Nothing beats the flexibility of using the REOs VTLs as well as dynamic virtual tapes that automatically expand or shrink depending on our needs," Loscalzo said.

With its highly economical REO/ARCvault combination, iSystems has slashed its backup window while significantly reducing administrative overhead.

In addition to lowering the barriers to entry for powerful yet affordable D2D2T backup and recovery, Overlands REO 1500 has advantages over other general-purpose disk-based backup systems. For example, the REO 1500 is not susceptible to common problems such as disk fragmentation, viruses, manual volume management, hackers, ongoing tuning or file system overhead, the spokesperson said.

"The bottom line with this announcement is excellent entry-level price/performance," Garrett said. "Overland claims a 5X improvement in backup speeds over the previous generation REO 1000. More performance at about the same price point means backup admins can do more for less."

Pricing and Availability

Overlands REO 1500 now is available from Overland partners worldwide for a starting MSRP of $5,543.


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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...