Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Company builds virtual tape library out of low-cost Open E-NAS software

This site member chronicles how his company built its own x86-based NAS solution to be used as a virtual tape library.

Building a disk-to-disk backup solution on a budget can be easier then you think. At my company we built a model...

disk-to-disk backup that streams to tape over a local fiber-loop offsite to our head office. We needed to find a storage system that was cheap and reliable. Since many entry-level NAS systems are basic x86 hardware, we decided to build our own NAS solution to be used as a virtual tape library.

I found a software solution that's a simple plug-and-play Linux-based OS embedded onto an IDE storage card. Called Open-E NAS, it allows for several configurations and even LAN-free backup with several of the top players in backup software.

I was worried about its performance, but so far it's doing a great job (it's been up for six months). We have 4-gig interfaces teamed together for a HA model split to multiple switches -- the software even supports HA clusters within the enterprise product.

All and all, we were able to build a 2TB useable NAS for backup with redundant failover for tens of thousands of dollars less then even entry-level NAS heads. Standardizing on run-of-the-mill server hardware, we ended up building this model for just a few thousand dollars. Ironically, this is the same hardware that many of the new players of entry-level storage have been supporting under the hood.

I would definitetly look at this solution in the future again; after all, it's storage for staging backups, it doesn't need to be tier-one or even tier-two storage by any means! This hooked right into our Active Directory and was a seamless fit. This product will remain on my radar.

Please let us know how useful you find this tip by rating it below. Do you have a useful Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to our tip contest and you could win a prize!

This was last published in March 2005

Dig Deeper on Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Management for Windows

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.