FalconStor Virtual Tape Library (VTL) backup and archive for IBM i: Set it and forget it

When it comes to reliability, it’s hard to top IBM i. For years, businesses around the world have been depending on this platform to run their most mission-critical services. So reliable are these systems, in fact, that fully 57% of businesses surveyed run their IBM i systems unattended.

But there’s one aspect of IBM i system maintenance that until recently has required a large investment of worker-hours and has generated much stress for IT departments, and that’s backup. Traditionally, the method available to protect data on IBM i systems has been tape backup, with procedures so complicated that they need entire teams to support them. For long term archive, these backup procedures were even more time-consuming because they also relied on third-party services to store tapes offsite. These third-party services increase the risk of regulatory violations because the security of backup media can’t be controlled or guaranteed by the organization that owns them. It also makes it very cumbersome and time-consuming to actually retrieve and locate data on a tape that is stored offsite.

Now, many of the incredible professionals who specialize in tape backup for IBM i are approaching retirement age and replacing that talent will be difficult. If that challenge weren’t enough to cause concern for IT departments, tape is also beginning to lose viability as a backup strategy for IBM i. With data volumes surging the way they have been, organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their backup windows because of the slow speed of tape media. And the lengthy process of data retrieval from those tapes is also threatening businesses’ ability to comply with legal regulations.

FalconStor VTL automates and modernizes backups for IBM i for greater peace of mind

FalconStor has an answer. FalconStor Virtual Tape Library (VTL) modernizes your IBM i backup environment, replacing tape backup with a disk-to-disk (D2D) format that emulates tape backup and solves the many problems of that legacy medium. FalconStor VTL is available in several form factors, including an integrated turnkey appli¬ance, a gateway appliance using existing SAN storage, and a high-availability (HA) cluster, which gives you the ability to perform maintenance while you perform backups.

Automate IBM i backup – FalconStor VTL can be configured through wizard-based policies to automate backup for IBM i on any schedule you choose. After policies have been set, backup with FalconStor VTL can run unattended like your other IBM i functions do. With its S3 connector, FalconStor VTL can back up your data to object storage in the cloud, providing you with the ability to further save costs and time. FalconStor VTL turns elaborate tape-backup and archiving procedures into a simple, set-it-and-forget-it operation, eliminating the need to replace retiring staff and move tapes offsite for archive purposes.

Meet backup windows – FalconStor VTL relieves any concern about missed backup windows in enterprise environments by delivering 40TB/hour backup and restore speeds. This dramatic speed is possible on existing mainstream configurations over Fiber Channel, enabling you to use your existing investments and go LAN-free for your backups. Our leading 7:1 deduplication technology also dramatically reduces the amount of data that needs to be transferred from backup by up to 95%.

Improve backup security – Say goodbye to offsite archive services, where security can’t be assured. FalconStor offers instead peace of mind through a complete and reliable approach to data security, providing encryption both in-flight during data transfer and on-disk for the virtual tapes where data is stored. In addition, virtual tape shredding enables users to “destroy” a virtual tape image, assuring organizations that its data cannot be accessed or restored even through disk forensics. The solution also provides the ability to do backup in the DMZ, so there is no need to open firewall network ports, which further enhances security.

Set it and forget the costs of legacy backup

FalconStor VTL provides native support for existing backup tools, so no additional knowledge is required. All the simple, software-based operations are transparent and continue as normal, but all the complexities associated with the physical media are removed. The result is automated, “set it and forget it” backup.

With IT budgets shrinking and data volumes exploding, a replacement technology is required that automates disaster recovery and improves upon the performance and security limitations of tape backup in IBM i environments. FalconStor VTL is the simplest and best way to modernize IBM i backup environments, offering faster performance, unlimited capacity, and a “set it and forget it” approach that eliminates the need for admin involvement.

For more information about how FalconStor VTL orchestrates high-performance backup for IBM i environments, read our white paper “Modernize your IBM i Environment with FalconStor VTL as a Backup Target”.