Virtually all modern enterprises are dependent upon the reliable availability of information stored in their electronic media. This includes all types of financial records, customer information, production plans, design schematics, etc. And in the event of a natural disaster, a fire, or other unexpected interruption to network and information services, business operations will cease or be seriously impaired. Businesses that fail to store and archive electronic information properly can be faced with a costly and time-consuming process of finding and retrieving the information to resume normal operations.
The need to protect and archive electronic information is not a new concern. But until recently, it has been handled with varying degrees of success. The old model of maintaining digital information on individual computers and hard drives is well-suited for small businesses. But it can be an enormous burden for large organizations with thousands of computers and terabytes of data.
One of the best and most effective tools used in business continuity planning for large organizations is a virtual tape library, which provides a convenient and reliable source of backup storage for your network. VTL (virtual tape library) is an alternative to backup tapes, and it can help reduce IT costs and provide a scalable recovery solution for any number of endpoints. The storage and archiving of digital information have undergone a revolution since the introduction of virtualtape technology.
What’s Special About VTL?
What does VTL stand for? VTLs, also known as Virtual Tape Libraries, is an important part of a business continuity plan, providing a backup resource that a company can use to restore virtualized applications in the event of a server failure or other event. While VTL is not the only way to achieve business continuity, the solution can provide the extra level of data protection a company needs.
The Benefits and Uses of VTLs
Today, organizations of any size can utilize VTL technology to store and manage their electronic data. VTL technology is a cost-effective solution for storing and managing large amounts of information efficiently. With VTL, organizations can:
- Back up data and applications safely and reliably, regardless of their location or size;
- Protect their data from natural disasters and accidental damage;
- Restore data quickly and easily to recover from a system failure;
- Keep information on the virtual tape backup server(s) rather than duplicating it in their primary storage location.
In addition to reducing the cost of data storage, VTL technology has important implications for disaster recovery. In most cases, organizations are under-resourced to recover and rebuild information from the primary location in the event of a disaster. But, through the use of VTLs, the data is safely stored on secondary or tertiary servers, which can be quickly restored to replace any damaged or lost primary storage locations. Thus, businesses can protect their data from accidental loss or natural disasters.
Storing electronic information on VTLs also provides significant advantages for business continuity. Rather than having to reconstruct all their information from paper backups or multiple hard drives or tape libraries, VTL users can use their backup data to recover quickly from any system failure. Once the data is restored, the users can begin running applications from their primary or secondary server. And, if the primary server is not up and running, they can resume business operations on a stand-alone server.
How VTLs Work
Unlike normal storage servers and hard drives, a VTL is a network-based computer system. So it must be connected to a network in order to provide its benefits. VTLs run the Windows operating system (or other OS) and are usually installed in large data centers or data centers managed by a service provider, with a backup server or a few backup servers at the center of the network. A VTL contains a library of tape cartridges, similar to the library of disk drives found in every desktop computer. The library can hold tens or even hundreds of tape cartridges. The letters are used to store and backup information and are connected to the network through a controller or controller card.
Organizations can run up to thousands of VTLs, with multiple backup servers and a large library of tape cartridges. In a typical VTL deployment, backup data is stored in a dedicated library, with access to all of the data being limited to the system’s owner. This helps to ensure that the data is stored and managed properly.
VTL technology uses the same concepts that are used to create backup tapes or backup disks. Data is typically backed up on tape to a backup server, but backup files are stored on the backup server’s hard drive. The most common backup protocol for VTLs is the TSM (Tape Storage Management) protocol. It allows the TSM software to be installed on VTLs, and any PC running TSM can access backup files stored in a VTL. The TSM protocol can also be installed on a disk, which means it can be used on both tape libraries and backup servers.
Data is typically backed up once or twice a week. Depending on the size of the library, VTL users may backup hundreds of terabytes of data per year. The amount of data that can be stored in a VTL library depends on the physical size of the library and the number of tape cartridges that can be housed in a library. A typical library can hold dozens of tape cartridges, which allows for hundreds or thousands of terabytes of data to be backed up and stored in a library.
VTL users have access to a centralized library of tape cartridges, which helps to ensure that data is always stored and managed properly. Data is not kept on many different drives in separate files like it is on a typical PC. So users do not have to search through all of their data to find and back up important files. Instead, data is stored in centralized locations, making it easier to locate. Users simply access their tape library through their backup server and pick the tape cartridge they need. They can then take the tape cartridge back to their desktop computer and insert it into a drive or copy it to a portable virtual tape drive. Data can be backed up to multiple tape libraries and servers to protect against data loss and data corruption.
Make the Max Out of Using VTLs
While VTL technology is still relatively new, it has become more widely accepted in recent years. As more and more businesses begin using VTLs, more vendors are offering solutions that can be used to back up their data. The key to finding the best VTL solution is knowing how the vendor intends to meet your business needs and choosing the best provider for those needs.