EMC Crafts ‘True’ Library For Data Recovery

Tackling the age-old problem of improving backup and recovery times for stored data, EMC Monday unveiled a disk library that restores data as much as 90 percent faster than traditional tape libraries.

EMC Vice President of Platforms Marketing Chuck Hollis says the storage systems vendor created the CLARiiON Disk Library to help businesses cope with more stringent time limits on recovering stored data in the wake of compliance regulations. Such a product could be useful because companies continue to create data at an overwhelming pace and volume.

EMC CLARiiON Disk Library DL300

EMC CLARiiON Disk Library

“Disk Libraries are tape libraries built out of disks that bring the benefit of backup to disk for people that do not want to touch their environment,”
Hollis told internetnews.com.

While the Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC and other companies have been selling disk-to-disk (D2D) replications to customers for years, they require a process change. EMC had offered a CLARiiON ATA disk product last year, but Hollis reports customers asked EMC to make a disk system that emulates tape drives so that process changes between, say, Legato and VERITAS systems, wouldn’t be necessary.

EMC obliged. Although tape libraries have historically backed up data at a respectable pace, EMC is looking to offer a 30 to 60 percent backup speed
bump over tape systems with the new product, according to Hollis.

But more importantly, the CLARiiON Disk Library recovers data without having to spool through tape incrementally the way tape libraries do, allowing them
to restore data 90 percent faster than their tape brethren. For example, the CLARiiON Disk Library will back up nine gigabytes of data in less than three

The CLARiiON Disk Library is primed for enterprises that need to corral 50 terabytes or greater of data and gives customers the option to consolidate
several tape libraries into one disk library. The new EMC product, available April 12, pipes data at 80 megabytes per second.

Pricing depends on the configuration of the disk library, which is more expensive than tape libraries of comparable configurations. For example, a 32TB
CLARiiON Disk Library with a two-year maintenance license costs $450,000, compared to similar tape systems from StorageTek or ADIC that cost between
$300,000 and $350,000.

Still, Phil Goodwin, senior program director of infrastructure strategies, believes a more appropriate cost comparison would be to measure the disk
library’s performance versus the cost of downtime, which can be disastrous for any company.

“While tape backup has traditionally been a best practice, we think of it as more of an archive media than a backup media,” Goodwin told internetnews.com. Moreover, the analyst says he anticipates that 80 percent of Global 2000 businesses will use disk-based backup and recovery
products by 2007.

“Disk libraries are for those who just want to plug-in and go,” says Hollis. “We think the category of disk libraries will be a very hot topic this
year.” Currently, start-ups such as Copan and SEPATON offer disk libraries, but EMC is the first major vendor to offer a true disk library.

Story courtesy of internetnews.com.

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Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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