Web-Based Issue Tracking
Free 30-Day Trial - Click Here

Recent Articles

New Interfaces for Microsoft?
Microsoft tells us that their application interfaces need revamping. Apparently having eighteen kazillion commands buried under three million menus confuses people now and then.

Do You Go With A Dedicated Server Or Not?
For many businesses, finding solutions in dedicated server options is difficult. This is mainly the case because individuals do not know what they are looking at or looking for. What is a dedicated server and do you need one?

The Cost of Linux
Matt Asay's AC/OS blog says that one of the "expenses" noted in Microsoft TCO studies is the cost of training.

Where's the "Giant Sucking Sound" of Outsourcing?
The conventional wisdom is that outsourcing has been very bad for the U.S. Information Technology workforce...

Why is Corporate Communication Seen As Fluffy?
In many organizations, corporate communication doesn't get a lot of respect. The intranet gives a rare opportunity for corporate communication...


10.17.05


Virtual Tape

By A.P. Lawrence


Virtual tape does just what you'd think: a backup thinks it's writing to tape, but in reality the data is going elsewhere.

It may still end up on tape eventually, but in the meantime it's heading for disk, local or otherwise. This stuff isn't cheap, but then neither are the systems where people would be interested in it.

It does raise some interesting questions, though. In the Unix and Linux world, we don't usually have to resort to anything like this: tar, cpio or whatever can already happily write to anything, so we don't need virtual tape. Most Unix utilities don't assume a lot about their output. Microsoft backup programs are, of course, much different, and will usually be hardwired to expect certain hardware.

As we move up from tar and cpio, things change. Higher level backup programs are more apt to be concerned with hardware details, and will want to both query and control a tape at a very low level.

Write 10,000 lines of code in 10 minutes!
Iron Speed Designer Free Evaluation

These programs aren't going to send a backup to anything that doesn't look like a tape drive, and more specifically a type of tape drive that the software comprehends. Virtual tape would be the only way to cajole these critters to write to some other storage.

But isn't there still something wrong here? Why would the backup app folks let IBM or whoever come in and sell thousands of dollars worth of software when it would seem that they could rather easily tweak their programs to write to anything?

You would think that their design is a generic writer that calls stubs for various hardware specific features, and that it would be somewhat trivial to write stubs for disk backup or whatever. Apparently not. I can only guess, but if they can't do that, their software must be horribly complicated and extremely difficult to modify.

References:
IBM ports virtual tape to Unix and Intel
Virtual tape offers first step toward disk-based backup

*Originaly published at APLawrence.com

About the Author:
A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services http://www.pcunix.com

About ITManagementNews
ITmanagementNews answers questions for IT managers. Our experts offer real-world advise and cutting edge technology for the enterprise. ITmanagementNews is focused on Delivering IT Solutions

ITManagementNews is brought to you by:

SecurityConfig.com NetworkingFiles.com
NetworkNewz.com WebProASP.com
DatabaseProNews.com SQLProNews.com
ITcertificationNews.com SysAdminNews.com
LinuxProNews.com WirelessProNews.com
CProgrammingTrends.com DevWebPro.com


-- ITManagementNews is an iEntry, Inc. publication --
iEntry, Inc. 2549 Richmond Rd. Lexington KY, 40509
2005 iEntry, Inc. All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy Legal

archives | advertising info | news headlines | free newsletters | comments/feedback | submit article
Delivering IT Solutions ITManagementNews News Archives About Us Feedback ITManagementNews Home Page About Article Archive News Downloads WebProWorld Forums Jayde iEntry Advertise Contact