EMC Rolls New Replication Tools for ILM

EMC unveiled a slew of tools for its information
lifecycle management strategy Monday, including new replication software to ensure
that critical content is backed up over long distances.

The Hopkinton, Mass., storage vendor has created Open Replicator for
Symmetrix, which runs on the company’s DMX array that can push and pull data
for any storage type that it sees on a storage area network (SAN)
, according to EMC vice president of platforms strategy Chuck
Hollis.

Hollis told internetnews.com that Open Replicator is unique because most
storage replication products must have homogeneous storage to communicate
data transfer. The executive said customers who do remote tape vaulting —
doing backup at a distance — asked for the technology, because they face the
challenge of recovering an entire tape image.

This takes a lot of time, possibly six to eight hours. Open Replicator has a
“live restore” feature so that applications can run while the copied data is
coming back over the SAN from a remote locale, shortening recovery time
data. If the application asks for data, Open Replicator stops everything,
gets it and brings it back.

The product will be available in the first quarter of 2005.

Replication functionalities are important characteristics in ILM — where
files are stored, archived and then destroyed — because they allow
companies to save copies of data for fast retrieval.

This is important at a time when compliance rules stipulate that enterprise
locate and present files for legal perusal. Recent IDC research noted that
storage replication software, a trail EMC blazed in 1994 when it introduced
SRDF, grew by 13.5 percent in the second quarter of 2004.

A new iteration of the company’s remote replication software, SRDF/Star, is
the industry’s first product for recovering data among three data centers.
Most enterprises, such as financial firms, have two centers set up but are
building a third at a remote location to help keep up with the growth in
unstructured data that must be harnessed.

“Say the data center in New York becomes unavailable,” Hollis said.
“SRDF/Star allows New Jersey and London to find each other and pick up
exactly where they left off with no loss of data … This is a unique
capability. We don’t think anyone will be able to do this for a while.”

Previously, customers had to resynchronize all of their data to begin
protecting it. SRDF/Star will be available in first quarter of 2005.

In the first glimpse of how EMC is using VMware’s virtualization technology,
the company has forged a new integration layer between VMware and SRDF to
lower the cost of servers.

“We’ve created an integration layer using VMware that allows customers to do server
virtualization at the remote side. Instead of 20 servers, I could have three, four
or five.”

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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