Compaq, Cheyenne Plan to Boost NT Backup

Compaq and Cheyenne this week unveiled technology aimed at giving Windows NT servers the capability to back up terabytes of data quickly and simplify management of storage subsystems.

Although neither Compaq nor Cheyenne said what specific products would be appearing in the first half of 1997, they signed an eight-year agreement to jointly market, develop, and support products for the server and the desktop.

The alliance could fill a hole in the storage market, said Joe Barkan, research director for Gartner Group, in Stamford, Connecticut.

"The problem is trying to back up very large databases on Windows NT," Barkan said. "The software out there today, including Seagate's Backup Exec, Cheyenne's Arcserve, and Legato's Networker, are not optimized for storage management of large databases on large servers. So there's room for improvement in the functionality."

Storage requirements double every 18 months, said Phil Devin, an analyst at Dataquest, in San Jose, California, and network computers only exacerbate that trend.

"With the [network computer], you have to look at what the desktop is doing today, and all the caches you keep with your browsers and major Internet attachments," Devin said. "You're talking about massive storage requirements, as much as 200M bytes per cache."

"How does a large backup destination live on a network without a PC to be accessed by many clients?" asked Bob Schultz, director of marketing at Compaq. "That's something we're looking into. We want to focus on distributing storage around a network and improving the efficiency of managing that storage."

To that end, the companies plan to add functionality to existing products, including Cheyenne's Arcserve storage backup software and Compaq's Smart-2 Array controllers. Arcserve will be enhanced in late 1997 to back up terabytes of data to tape within an hour. The companies will expand the collaboration to include anti-virus and telephony.

Future software will also support the sharing of tape libraries among multiple servers running different operating systems and applications. Compaq said it will embed elements of its Insight Manager network management software into a dedicated RAID controller to initiate backup before a failure occurs.

Compaq Computer Corp., in Houston, can be reached at (800) 345-1518. Cheyenne Software Inc., in Roslyn Heights, New York, is at +1 (516) 484-5110.

-- Compaq and Cheyenne aim to bring mainframe storage management to the Intel platform.