Bus-Tech Targets SMBs With Affordable Mainframe Virtual Tape Libraries

Bus-Tech, Inc., a supplier of data center connectivity products, has introduced the Mainframe Data Library (MDL) model 100S. Designed to provide mainframe Virtual Tape Library (VTL) functionality to smaller mainframe shops, the MDL-100S offers self-contained storage and multiple data protection options for what it calls a turnkey solution for mainframe tape replacement.

"There are a lot of smaller shops-and they might not be a small company, but they might have a relatively modest mainframe environment, maybe they have primarily distributed systems," Jim O'Connor, director of marketing for Bus-Tech, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "We run into companies that will have maybe eight or 10 tape drives, and they don't want to invest in new tape technology. As a result, they hold on to their old tape technology longer."

The downside of that approach is that when the technology is no longer supported, they are forced to go to third-party support organizations, which can be very expensive, he explains. "This solution is targeted at that group. This is the first solution that includes the disk storage space." For the medium to larger size installations, he notes, Bus-Tech typically partners with another a vendor that supplies the storage and that makes sense because a larger installation can be very complicated spanning multiple sites, and the customer may already have a preference for storage.

Often, in the smaller shops the organization has older tape drives and the performance is low, adds O'Connor. "We can go in with this one turnkey solution and they can just replace that entire environment and then we have additional data protection features to round out the offering."

The MDL is a modular, scalable family of VTL controllers for IBM, IBM compatible and Fujitsu mainframes. The MDL uses distributed system disk storage to store and retrieve tape data, to incorporate the advantages of distributed system storage and networking technologies into the mainframe data center.

The MDL-100S is offered with 4.5 TB of usable RAID protected disk storage and additional data protection features. Bus-Tech's Virtuent Replicator provides scheduled or mainframe-initiated asynchronous replication to secondary and tertiary sites via Internet Protocol while Virtuent Tape Backup gives users the option to back up the internal disks to IBM LTO-4 tape autoloader.

The MDL-100S is built on the technology of the MDL product family and the Virtuent software engine. According to the company, assuming a 2.5-to-1 compression ratio the MDL-100S presents over 11 TB of storage for tape data, the equivalent of over 5,500 fully utilized 3490E cartridges.

The MDL-100S is available in either FICON or ESCON configurations and emulates up to 32 tape drives (3480/90 and 3590) on the mainframe. Go here for more information.