Fujitsu Siemens Computers has announced a new version of its CentricStor virtual tape appliance.

The new version, 3.1D, includes greater scalability and new service capabilities specially tailored to meet customer requirements.

In developing the new release, Fujitsu Siemens Computers placed a special focus on even greater availability in order to provide enhanced business continuity. The new software will feature across the full range of CentricStor models from late April.

CentricStor is a virtual tape appliance that allows fully integrated “disk-to-disk-to-tape” data backup to completely secure all corporate data. The system is integrated as transparent tape resource layer between mainframes, open-system servers and physical tape libraries.

The virtual tape appliance supports a wide range of server hardware, operating systems and application programs as well as the leading environments for tape automation.

"All applications occasionally require some maintenance work, updates or changes in their configuration, but this must not in any way endanger the continuity of business processes upon which business is nowadays dependent upon. Thanks to its Grid Architecture, CentricStor has always guaranteed extremely high system stability and availability, and these are two things we have optimized even further in the new version,” comments Dr Helmut Beck, vice-president: Storage at Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

“We have also further expanded the solution’s scalability, providing further proof of the enormous potential that CentricStor’s Grid Architecture offers."

According to Stephanie Balaouras, senior analyst at Forrester: “Fujitsu Siemens Computers offers the only integrated mainframe and open system VTL. What distinguishes CentricStor from any other platform is that it supports both mainframe and open systems and it has a grid-like architecture. In Europe, Fujitsu Siemens Computers enjoys widespread success with more than 450 installations – mostly large installations at major banks and insurance companies.”

The new CentricStor release makes it possible to reconfigure and restart the processors that control the connection and communication with the servers, or with the physical tapes on the front end and the backend of the virtual tape appliance, on the fly, while backup operations are up and running. Processors can also be added or removed in the same way, without having to interrupt the system, further enhancing the high availability that CentricStor already provides with its grid architecture.

The latest release also further equips CentricStor to handle steadily growing data volumes. The new version increases the number of logical volumes that can be processed with one system from 300,000 to 500,000, underlining CentricStor’s lead in offering more capacity than any other virtual or physical tape system.

Since CentricStor serves as the central means of data backup, the virtual tape appliance must ensure that special events and issues such as possible bottlenecks are immediately registered and that the corresponding corrective measures can be promptly initiated. Therefore Fujitsu Siemens Computers has continued to optimize monitoring and statistics in the new version, which allows data to be prepared offline, based on raw input.

The user has a wide range of options to choose from when dealing with the output data: the new version has been equipped with a central interface, for example, that can be used to set up a connection to a service partner to ensure that the system is kept running day and night. CentricStor also offers services customized to meet special customer needs: should specific events occur, SNMP traps, text messages or e-mails can be sent automatically to pre-defined persons or offices. This enables IT departments to adapt service levels more closely to the requirements of their customers.