Qualstar(r) Corporation (Nasdaq: QBAK), a manufacturer of automated tape storage solutions, today unveiled a new whitepaper 'D2D Back Up is NOT Enough - the case for D2D2T', shedding light on disk-to-disk (D2D) and disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) back up. According to the whitepaper, D2D2T is the most suitable architecture to address backup and data protection needs, and fits seamlessly with Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategies thanks to its multi-tiered nature. Among the advantages offered by tape-based back-up, such as lower total cost of ownership, are higher reliability and virus protection.

The new whitepaper explains how today's D2D backup solutions are all based on low-cost ATA or Serial ATA disk drives which - while much less expensive than SCSI or Fibre Channel - are also much less reliable (six times less in the case of ATA Vs SCSI). In addition, while the failure of a tape drive does not lead to any data loss, the failure of a drive in a D2D RAID array puts all data at immediate risk, a scenario that many organisations cannot afford to be exposed to. Moreover, fundamental technology differences between automated tape libraries and disk arrays highlight another reliability advantage for tape-based backup. As more drives are added to a disk array, the chance of a drive failure and hence data loss, increases. Conversely, as more tape drives are added to a library, overall reliability actually increases.

Differently from the claims of many D2D proponents, Qualstar's whitepaper reveals how today companies deploying D2D are not using it as a tape replacement; rather they are using D2D as part of a multi-tiered backup architecture that takes advantage of the best features of both tape and disk to provide an enhanced backup infrastructure, where the low-cost disks operate as a front-end cache for the tape library. In other words, they are deploying D2D2T as part of an effective ILM strategy, benefiting from the performance of disk and the security and reliability of tape. A D2D2T backup architecture adds the media removability component, providing a simple and effective method of isolating critical information from the on-line and physical risks that are inherent in any disk-only storage.

'IT administrators have been lead to believe that they can put all their data in the hands of disk drives and sleep well at night but this is not the case at all,' said Bob Covey, vice president of marketing at Qualstar. 'Today tape technology still offers many advantages over disks and so organisations cannot protect their data from the risk of loss, viruses and malicious attacks with a disk-only back up and protection strategy.' 'Tape technology established itself to meet the needs of organisations looking for a cost-effective, reliable storage medium,' said Hamish Macarthur, CEO and Founder of pan-European market research firm Macarthur Stroud International. 'Today tape plays a key role in ILM strategies and it is both necessary and complementary to disk technology when the aim is safe, reliable back up.'

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