Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about ViTL, the virtual tape and tape library solution, that significantly improves backup and recovery of IBM Power Systems while simplifying operations saving time and money for your organization.

What is ViTL?

ViTL is a Windows rackmount appliance or VM that connects to the iSeries via Fibre Channel or SAS. ViTL emulates an LTO tape drive to your IBM i (AS/400, iSeries, System i, AIX or Linux) host. You can backup to local storage at speeds up to 600 MB/second without changing your current backup procedures.

Can I use my hardware with ViTL?

Yes. ViTL can be purchased as software only and will run in a Windows Virtual Machine (VM).

Does ViTL need a special connection to the iSeries or other host system?

ViTL connects through Fibre Channel or SAS to the iSeries or other host system.

What speed Fibre Channel card should I use?

4GB or 8GB is preferred.

How easy is it to install ViTL?

ViTL installation is easy and is most often completed with remote support only.

How much training is needed with ViTL?

Because ViTL uses existing ihost system tape backup commands, most IT staff begin using ViTL with minimal training.

How soon after installation can I use ViTL?

Many customers begin using ViTL within the first hour of installation.

Will ViTL eliminate the manual processes that are required with tape backups?

Yes, backups can be automated with ViTL and depending on whether you continue to use tape for long term backups. Most or all of the physical handling of tapes is no longer needed.

My industry requires we maintain tape backups. Can we still use ViTL?

Yes, ViTL can be used for onsite backups, shortening your backup windows, and giving you instant access to your data, while you continue to keep tapes for long-term and archival storage.

What releases of OS/400 and I5/OS does ViTL support?

V5R4 forward.

Does ViTL interface with BRMS or Robot Save?

Yes, ViTL works flawlessly with BRMS and Robot Save, though they are not required in order to use ViTL.

Can ViTL compress and encrypt my iSeries backups?

Yes. ViTL includes in-line compression and AES-256 encryption.

What sort of compression ratio can I expect?

You should see at least 4 to 1 compression on an average set of saves – more on databases, less on program objects. Our sample results have been 3.6 on run-time objects, 8.0 on a library containing database records, and 10.7 on program source. Your results will vary. Users have reported compression ratios in the 4x to 12x range.

Will compression and encryption slow down my other iSeries jobs?

No. Since both compression and encryption occur entirely on the server-side, it does not cause any overhead on the iSeries.

Will compression and encryption increase my download time?

Compression and encryption have shown to decrease download times in certain situations.

Does the SAVF get written to the iSeries first?

No. ViTL doesn’t use SAVF save files. ViTL uses IBM’s backup and restore processes. Your iSeries data can be saved directly to the ViTL internal disk array or an existing NAS, SAN, or deduplication device, such as ExaGrid, Cohesity, Rubrik, Quantum, and many more.

Is ViTL as fast as my current tape drive?

ViTL will never be slower than your current tape drive, no matter what tape drive you have. Most IBM i users will see significant reductions in backup time with ViTL.

How much will I save with ViTL?

Every company is different. However, increased time savings, labor savings, and immediate access to your data occur when using ViTL. If you are using tape, you can determine how much you may be spending on tape backups by getting our Cost of Tape Worksheet.

From what media can I save and restore?

Anything that the server considers a drive, including internal hard drives, removable hard drives, USB thumb-drives, NAS, RAID arrays, etc.

Where does ViTL store the tape image files?

ViTL can store the tape image files to any Windows folder, including your SAN, NAS, HDD, USB HDD, flash drives, and any deduplication device.

What are the limitations?

There are no limitations since the host computer sees ViTL as a tape device. Everything you can save to and restore from tape, you can save to and restore from ViTL.

How can I determine the size of my current IBM i backup?

To see how much data you are storing on your AS400, you can run the following commands:

WRKSYSSTS − This command shows the system disk space in the upper right corner of the display (% of ASP).

WRKDSKSTS − This command shows you these same stats on a per drive basis.

What does ‘% of ASP’ mean?

ASP is the auxiliary storage pool or disk storage space you currently have installed. The % used is the amount of data stored on the ASP.

What size backup can I create with ViTL?

With compression turned on, you can store approximately four times the size of your Windows disk storage space. For most people, this will be many terabytes. Many ViTL users use deduplication, which can increase storage capacity significantly.

How does ViTL help us with our business continuity in case of disaster?

Disasters happen. And any disaster that impacts your business can be devastating. ViTL helps you safeguard your data when a disaster strikes and makes sure it is quickly available to ensure your business continuity. ViTL gives you easier, faster, more secure backups when it matters most.

Can I copy the tape images for a second backup?

Yes. You can copy the files to another server device.

How much does it cost to add more storage space?

Nothing but the cost of the drives. ViTL supports as much storage as you can attach to your server. If you use our compression, you should see between 4 and 8 times the raw capacity of the device. In a real-world situation, a 4TB drive should give you between 16TB and 32TB of iSeries backup storage.

Will I be able to restore my libraries on future releases of OS/400 or I5/OS?

We use IBM’s software to do the saves and restores. We expect IBM’s software to remain compatible with future releases of the operating system since they depend on its use also.

If ViTL doesn’t meet my needs, can I get a refund?

Returns are accepted within the first 30-days from the date of installation. All returns must be pre-authorized and are subject to a 30% restocking fee.

Is there a demo available?

Yes. To see a demo, complete our on line demo request form and we’ll be in touch to setup a time that’s convenient for you.

How long does the online demo take?

The demo usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. We always allow time to answer any questions you may have.

If you have additional questions, please send us a quick email.

*ViTL is a product of Electronic Storage Corporation (ESC). Since 1989, ESC has been creating and selling backup and recovery and document management solutions primarily to the IBM midrange market. We support all of our products in-house. Our other products are UBD, LaserVault Backup, LaserVault DMS10 Document Management, LaserVault Reports, and Content Express.

 

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