Recently there’s been a great thread over at Spiceworks concerning Unitrends and tape.  When I say “great thread”, I don’t mean that the folks over there are saying that Unitrends is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Actually – far from it.  The title of the thread is “Unitrends and Tape Archives (headaches.)”  I’ve been so busy that I simply missed the thread – and our resident Spiceworks forums guru Katie Drucker didn’t tell me about it soon enough because obviously I’ve irritated her once too often. 🙂

All joking aside, what Tobyhe calls  out on this thread is that Unitrends doesn’t support bar codes.  That makes it tough in his environment to auditing and recalling tapes.  He’s right.  It’s something we recognize that we need to do – and it’s currently under development and schedule to beta and be released in Q2-2013 (best estimate beta in May or early June, committed generally released in late June.)  Anyone who is a current or future customer that wants to be included in the beta, please contact us at  beta@unitrends.com.

There is something that was said later in the thread that I wanted to directly address – it was stated in a conversation among a few Spiceworks members.  It was noted that Unitrends prefers disk archiving over tape archiving.

This isn’t our intent.  To put it simply, we aspire to be like Olympic gymnasts – we want to be flexible.

Unitrends uses an architecture called D2D2X – Disk-to-Disk-to-Any – and the reason I call this out is that we attempt to address buyers who want their data protection solution to adapt to their environment rather than adapting their environment to their data protection solution.  So we don’t say “You need to only use Windows” or “You need to be 100% virtualized” or “You have to replicate to a private or public cloud for protection” – instead we have a pretty interesting architecture we’ve termed “Simply Scalable(TM)” that enables us to adapt and scale to all sorts of customer environments.

With respect to archiving, that means we support removeable disk, tape, and fixed NAS and SAN as well as supporting private and public replication to the cloud.  Tape is typically termed D2D2T (as opposed to disk, which is termed D2D2D) – and we have many incredibly valued customers who are using tape.

The fact that we don’t offer bar code support for tape until May/June of 2013 is simply a matter of prioritization.  Is it something we should have?  Absolutely.  And we’re working hard as we speak to add this (and many, many more features.)

Thanks to everyone who is our customer – and thanks to everyone who is considering our Unified Data Protection™ solution.  And if anyone thinks I’m missing anything here, I (and Katie!) would love to hear from you.