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Protect Business-Critical Data with the SPHiNX™ Virtual Tape System


When disaster strikes, every second without available data is a second too long. Crossroads’ virtual tape system (VTS), SPHiNX, offers complete data protection and rapid disaster recovery to help you meet your backup window and recovery objectives, save money, and reduce risk.

  • Minimizes or eliminates physical tape backup
  • Reduces risk of data loss and mechanical errors
  • Automates recovery for rapid data restores
  • Simplifies data protection and disaster recovery
  • Consolidates multiple host servers to one backup destination

SPHiNX is a virtual tape solution that provides complete data protection, consolidates backups, and streamlines disaster recovery – an essential part of every IT strategy. A disk-based appliance, SPHiNX functions as a virtual tape library or drive that integrates easily with existing infrastructure components to help you improve backup performance and network availability.

SPHiNX enables faster backups and streamlined disaster recovery to reduce the cost and complexity of data protection.

SPHiNX seamlessly integrates with existing backup applications and is designed to serve environments such as:

  • IBM i
  • AIX
  • UNIX


  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Unisys MCP ClearPath


Shrink backup windows with automation and consolidation


Backups that stretch past their allotted window and threaten network availability pose a serious problem for SMBs and enterprises alike. SPHiNX helps you get a handle on lengthy backups by automating and consolidating processes for writing data to virtual tape and then physical tape outside of tight and stringent backup windows. You can consolidate backups from multiple hosts or operating systems to one destination, instead of having a dedicated physical library for each host.

Reduce or eliminate physical tape from backup

SPHiNX enables you to minimize physical tape needed for backup, reducing strain on physical drives and media. SPHiNX can be configured to backup data to virtual tape cartridges, for data reduction and secure encryption.

If a physical tape copy is needed, SPHiNX transparently writes data to tape. This process can be automated during idle times outside of the normal backup window to ensure resources are used efficiently and not overburdened.


Less physical tape means a reduced environmental footprint with fewer machines and resources needed. Instead of multiple drives per physical library partition or device, you have a single appliance that connects transparently to multiple hosts and tape devices.

Minimize risk and control media cost

Physical media doesn’t last forever. With SPHiNX, you can extend the life of your physical media. By virtualizing your backups, you minimize the physical wear and tear on tapes, drives and other resources. You improve backup and restore success rates by eliminating associated drive, media and physical handling errors.

Accelerate disaster recovery with WAN-optimized asynchronous replication

Get your data when and where you need it with SPHiNX replication. Two or more SPHiNX systems can be deployed at remote sites to enable a powerful, fast, and transparent disaster recovery plan. SPHiNX ensures secure protection of data during replication with AES-256 encryption and key management.

When data is recalled, SPHiNX automatically restores data to the host device; no manual involvement is required. SPHiNX removes the uncertainty of data availability and helps you meet demanding service level agreements (SLAs) and compliance standards.

Scale to meet business growth


High-performance computing, real-time operations and datacenter consolidation create pressure for IT to protect more and more data every year. SPHiNX scales easily with the ability to connect multiple host systems and OS types. With the clustering option, multiple SPHiNX servers can be configured as pools on a single shared file system; capacity is virtually limitless.

Meet Regulatory Compliance Standards for Media Reliability with ReadVerify® Appliance

In today’s busy IT world, the complex task of monitoring and reporting on multiple metrics to optimize resource and performance may be a difficult project. But, knowing that tape media is reliable, readable and efficiently used is integral for effective tape environments.

Crossroads ReadVerify® Appliance (RVA®) proactively validates the integrity of tape storage systems and provides a simple, real-time way to monitor, track and report on the performance, utilization and health of tape devices and tape media. With RVA, you can be confident in the physical integrity of your tape media and secure in the knowledge that your data can be restored, should disaster strike.

Save Money by Leveraging Your Existing Tape Resources

By providing visibility into the utilization of tape resources, RVA helps you maximize effectiveness of existing equipment before making unnecessary capital expenditures. RVA also helps you address media and hardware issues before a catastrophic failure threatens the viability of your business.

How Does RVA Work?


RVA proactively monitors your tape systems and reports cartridge and drive statistics collected during data operations. Automatic alerting and reporting provides you with critical information on impending media and/or drive failures, overall utilization and performance of tape media and drives. Utilize built-in reporting for load balancing and to proactively address media and hardware failure before they cripple your business.


Performance Flexibility with StrongBox XpanDisk

StrongBox XpanDisk extends the nearline capacity of your StrongBox NAS. Each XpanDisk module can support up to 45 drives with various drive capacity options to scale from 18TB to 1.4PB of usable disk storage. This provides more usable capacity for nearline storage, offering faster access to stored data.

StrongBox’s tunable policies blend the cost-effective reliability of LTO tape with the speed and agility of disk in one seamless storage platform.

What is StrongBox XpanDisk?


StrongBox XpanDisk is a seamless addition to the StrongBox NAS, allowing users to add the right amount of disk for nearline storage along with the intrinsic archive capabilities of StrongBox.

Key Benefits


  • Nearline data access for users and applications
  • Best cost/GB
  • Hot-swappable disks and drives for maximum uptime
  • Tunable policy-driven data performance optimizes storage ROI
  • Built-in data protection – no backup needed!


View Technical Specifications

Business Use Cases for the Strongbox Solution

Cost-effective long-term preservation

The explosion of digital information puts ever-increasing pressure on IT teams to do more with less. In a world where “keep everything, forever” is the mantra of many, new archiving and protection strategies that deliver lower costs and simpler management become imperative.

StrongBox provides a new way to leverage cost-effective LTFS tape media as a fully accessible, online storage solution.

Discover the opportunities to:


  • Reduce TCO
  • Simplify long-term retention and management
  • Protect data with long-term reliability
  • Access data seamlessly from a shared NAS


Alleviate backup using StrongBox

Up to 90 percent of enterprise data isn’t accessed more than once, but still needs to be stored and protected long term. Protection typically involves backing up data to meet disaster recovery needs. But, inactive data that remains on primary storage media devours costly network, computing and power resources, while bogging down backup processes and straining the overall infrastructure.

Now you can simplify your backup process by moving fixed content into a StrongBox. StrongBox data is automatically protected, meaning that it doesn’t need to be backed up.


  • Remove 50-80% of data from your backup cycles
  • Protect data automatically
  • Maintain access to data, unlike traditional offline backup copies
  • Meet backup window and SLAs

How does tape solve the unstructured data backup problem? Read this white paper to find out.


Click here to learn more about using StrongBox to alleviate backup challenges.


StrongBox: The Ultimate Storage Solution for Unstructured Data

Data is exploding across the digital universe faster than ever before. While new information may need to be preserved for two, 20 years or indefinitely, data always needs to be accessible and secure. StrongBox solves data storage and protection challenges while meeting your budget goals.

Strongbox Key Benefits

  • Controls storage costs and reduces TCO by more than 50%
  • Provides online, nearline and archive storage with one simple-to-manage solution
  • Ensures the long-term protection of files and objects
  • Eliminates the need for backup of fixed content
  • Delivers tunable performance to meet your application workflow
  • Closes the gap between data growth and budget availability
  • Provides tape economics as an LTFS-based solution


What is Strongbox?

StrongBox is a network-attached storage (NAS) appliance built to simplify data access and provide the most cost-effective storage for unstructured data. StrongBox ensures complete data protection for all of your online, nearline and archive storage needs. Combining flexible, policy-driven performance with cost-effective Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technology, StrongBox empowers you to control storage expenses without sacrificing data availability, limiting scalability or adding complexity.

StrongBox is the ultimate storage solution for unstructured data.


 View video to find out what Strongbox is (new window)


Performance Defined Storage

StrongBox's intelligent storage management provides the right performance to meet your applications and workflow requirements while maximizing cost savings to meet your budget. Create your perfect balance of storage performance and economics by fusing storage technologies (SSD, HDD and tape) into a seamless tier of storage.

Access data to meet business needs
When you need access to your data, you don't want to wait. StrongBox's unique policy tuning balances data availability with system efficiency. Users have a persistent view of all files and objects so that data can be recalled simply when needed.

Deploy with existing architecture
Connecting to the network via standard NFS, CIFS or S3 protocols, StrongBox provides an easy point for applications and users to access data directly as a standard file system, no special applications or agents needed. With a RESTful API and host of intrinsic tools for application integration, StrongBox can be deployed with your existing resources or as a stand-alone solution.

Scale file or object storage at the lowest cost

StrongBox provides file and/or object storage to provide the best of both worlds in one solution. Using the standard S3 protocol, users now have the ability to benefit from low-cost tape media for object storage efficiency, blended with the performance of disk to store or access data anywhere, at any time.

Control storage costs and reduce TCO

Data grows exponentially - budgets don't. With StrongBox and LTO/LTFS tape, you can scale storage as needed using the library of your choice or even add multiple tape libraries to increase storage capacity seamlessly managed behind a single StrongBox. Users can add FC/SAS disk arrays, such as StrongBox XpanDisk, to increase the nearline storage capacity. 

Minimize data center costs by leveraging low-power, low-cost LTFS media for long-term assets. StrongBox keeps data center power requirements low, reducing operational costs by up to 95 percent.


Stay in control of your data with LTFS and LTO - no vendor lock-in

You stay in control of your data with StrongBox. By leveraging the open standard LTFS technology, StrongBox writes data in a non-proprietary format and makes no modifications to files or metadata. A StrongBox system is not required to read data written by StrongBox - tapes can be exported and read by any LTFS drive.

Protect Data On and Offsite

Storage is fundamental, but ensuring that data can be retrieved is key to a successful IT infrastructure. StrongBox protects data on multiple fronts so that you can be confident that data written is recoverable in time of need. You can protect data offsite by replicating to a secondary StrongBox or writing data to an offsite library.

Key data integrity and protection features include:

  • Pass-through tape encryption
  • File integrity check with HASH code validation
  • Intuitive system monitoring and health checks
  • Proactive self-healing


StrongBox provides touchless tape management by writing to multiple libraries, no manual involvement needed.

Simplify storage infrastructure with an easy-to-use solution

Unlike complex storage systems that require hours of configuration and training, StrongBox is a plug-and-play NAS appliance that is simple to deploy. Connecting to the network via GbE or 10GbE, StrongBox presents stored data just like a standard network share.

Build a sustainable active archive

StrongBox empowers an active archive architecture in which all data remains available without high operating costs or bogging down network resources. StrongBox is energy efficient to help you meet Green IT initiatives, not to mention reduces your cost for power by up to 95 percent.



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