[SATLUG] Virtual Tape Library

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Sat Sep 20 10:31:20 CDT 2008

On Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 16:40, Sean I <siffland at nerdshack.com> wrote:

> > Can you expound a little bit on what you are looking for, so that I can
> > better understand VTL in your context?
> >
> > Thanks!
> > jp
> > --
> Like HP Virtual Tapeserver.  It presents itself to the backup utility
> like a tape drive but writes to disk:

This one is a toughie.  The market is such that there is too much money in
this segment to FOSS the solution.  I have used/implemented both DataDomain
($$$$) and Falconstor ($$$) for this purpose, but I have not found a FOSS
tape emulator.  There are a number of other players here as well: EMC
(FalconStor), STK (Falconstor), Quantum, Sepaton, HP (3 different
implementations: Small=HomeGrown, Open Systems is Sepaton, Plus the one you
listed), and some smaller players that Wayne's seach suggestion turned up.
None are free, most are far from free.

Most backup products have introduced various implementations of D2D, but in
a cross platform environment, this limits your media server selection
(storage locations are not always cross platform) capabilities, or limits
your throughput to network speeds, rather than SAN speeds/latency.

> That way it can be bounced down to tape later by the backup utility
> via tape copy easily if so desired.

Just out of curiosity, what protocol did you want to use present this
capability?  None of the solutions above are "Small Environment" friendly,
as they use FibreChannel predominantly, and most people do not have a FC SAN
at home.  I have not personnally seen an iSCSI VTL implementation, but
FalconSTor does iSCSI in thier IPStor block virtualizer product, so I can
imagine that it could be done.

I would love to see a FOSS VTL, but the engineering resources are way above
what a small shop can afford; not to mention the "services" tied to a good
implementation are scarce.   Plus, the big boys aren't about to release
source code, as that is their bread and butter.

Minus additional feedback from one with more insight, I would say that the
"VTL" type implementations included with the backup software is going to be
the most accessible.  You could try to get an NDA with FalconStor in order
to "develop" modules for their product, but the infrastructure requrements
are so high that your bang would be very small IMHO.

FWIW -- Falconstor and DataDomain both use Linux as the platform for thier
products.  DD is more of an "appliance" company since they do not sell the
software standalone, but FalconStor does (hence the OEM agreements with

Good luck, and PLEASE share any findings, as I am interested....

More information about the SATLUG mailing list