Optica Technologies, Inc.

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Virtual Tape for Social Distancing

Depending on who you believe, Social Distancing will become a frequent, if not constant occurrence in today’s changed environment.

It could be loading single cartridges into drives, loading cartridges into scratch loaders, pulling cartridges from racks to ship offsite for long term retention or disaster recovery. Every instance involving the touch and movement of those cartridges likely results in several occurrences of human touch and exposure.  The question becomes, if Social Distancing and Remote Employees become somewhat the “new normal” – with few, if any employees working in a data center regularly, how do I accomplish my business goals?

In addition, business liability concerns are real when an employee is mandated to perform physical tape operations runs the risk of exposure. Addressing this liability is a benefit to everyone.

Optica zVT is uniquely positioned to help clients adapt to the “new normal” for business. The exposure is essentially the same whether it’s a small mainframe environment or one with substantial physical tape volume. Optica’s product set is positioned to address all these environments. Following is an example of a small environment, with replication to the DR site over an Internet VPN connection.

Example: 5 TB of compressed data stored on internal zVT 3000i.  Change rate of 5% daily = .25TB (256GB) to be replicated daily.

Using 50 Mbps VPN connection (what my ISP provides here at home) = 12 hours replication time. Likely about the same amount of time it’d take to write a cartridge, pull it from the rack, load it on a truck, transport it to vault/D.R. center, unload the truck, place the cartridge in a rack – except, there’s no human interaction at any point.

Replication Time Estimates by Bandwidth


zVT-3000i High Level Specifications

  • (2) 8Gb FICON interfaces (mainframe connectivity)

  • license support for (16) virtual tape drives (64 VTD and 256 VTD options), 3490 and 3590 tape emulation support

  • Internal RAID-6 storage available in (3) storage configurations: 8TB useable / 32TB effective, 16TB useable / 64 TB effective and 24TB useable / 96 TB effective

  • Flexible management via GUI, CLI, or JCL interfaces, Support for zVT replication and monitoring (zVT to zVT)