Tape technology is one of the most cost effective backup solution available in the market. With drop in disk prices and reduced need for manual intervention, disk based backup solutions are gaining popularity. The performance of these backup solutions are generally faster and individual file restores from disk are significantly faster due to faster seek times.
A virtual tape library (VTL) is a data storage virtualization technology which is used for data backup and data archiving purposes. Virtual tape library consists of a storage component (generally a hard disk) as tape libraries or tape drives for use with the existing backup software.
Major benefits offered by virtual tape library include improved backup and restore times, reduced tape media handling, easy integration and Interoperability, multiple VTL instances, dynamic disk allocation, and data compression.
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In order to enhance the existing backup processes, disk is increasingly being placed in data protection path. There is an increasing demand among customers for faster backups to meet minimizing backup windows and smaller recovery times to achieve service level objectives.
Presently, SMBs and Enterprises, who are either looking to replace the conventional backup tapes completely, or want to accelerate backup process and add an extra level of protection, are adopting virtual tape library (VTL). This storage solution eliminates the need of physical tape infrastructure and acts as a supported tape drive or autoloader, keeping all data on inexpensive, fast and high-capacity spinning disks.
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Major drivers expected to propelling the adoption virtual tape library have resulted from the needs such as backup windows without compromising, faster restore and recovery times, rapid integration with existing backup applications, enhanced performance with efficient utilization of backup resources, and reduced operational costs associated with physical tape handling.
Virtual tape libraries are solid option for medium and large enterprises as they provide easy integration into an existing tape environment. In certain cases, additional cost of the VTL is covered by the savings in integration costs and training.
However, certain factors are expected to hamper the growth of virtual tape library market during the forecast period. Some of these factors are high cost as compared to a conventional disk backup array and maturity in disk-based backup products and backup software.