StorServer is Thinking Out of the (pizza) Box

eLABorations: Entry-level S10000 backup device is a snap to set up, stores vast amounts of data

StorServer Inc.s latest entry-level backup appliance, the S10000, is an all-in-one system that makes backing up, archiving and restoring company data easy and affordable.

Our tests showed the S10000 all-in-one backup appliance definitely makes rolling out a backup system easy, especially for smaller sites with limited IT staff. Instead of configuring a server with backup software and finding the right tape library for it, IT managers can save time with an appliance that is easy to setup and manage.

The S10000 package, which shipped last month, consists of an IBM Netfinity xSeries server and a StorServer AIT tape library. It starts at $19,900 and can store as much as 80GB of data. Although its called an appliance, the S10000 certainly doesnt have the typical black pizza box look of other devices. In fact, the S10000 looks just like any other server attached to a type library--what makes it different is that everything is pre-installed so the system can up and running backup jobs quickly, like an appliance.

The S10000 is designed for smaller sites, but it can also scale (via AIT2 and AIT3 tapes) to expand its capacity to more than 2TB (terabytes). For enterprise sites, higher-end StorServer appliances offer backup capacities that range to more than 42TB.

The Netfinity x200 server comes pre-installed with Windows 2000 Server. In eWeek Labs tests, we just needed to change the network settings and then we could use the STORServer Manager GUI to perform most administrative tasks.

To handle network backup and data recovery tasks, the S10000 system runs Tivoli Storage Manager 4.1 on the Netfinity server. The S10000 supports a wide range of clients, including Windows, NeWare, Solaris, HP/UX and AIX, but we had to install the backup client on every system we wanted to back up.

The appliance stores backup data in the Netfinitys hard drive for quick network backup and restore. Data in the hard drives gets backed up to tapes regularly, with multiple archive copies made for disaster recovery.

Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at