EMC SAN tool eases data-swapping process

There's a new software tool on tap from EMC that copies data from any Clariion system to any Symmetrix system over a SAN. The company also debuted a new option for Clariion, with the integration of low-cost ATA disk drives.

Moving data from a Clariion to a Symmetrix and vice versa just got easier.

EMC Corp. on Wednesday pulled back the curtain on a new software utility called SAN Copy, a data movement application that manages the movement of data between current and legacy EMC Clariion and Symmetrix storage systems without consuming host resources.

  
EMC puts ATA drives in new Clariion
Also on EMC's agenda Wednesday was the debut of a new version of the company's Clariion system with ATA hard drives.

EMC said packing the Clariion with low-cost ATA drives gives users an attractive alternative to tape as the primary medium for backup.

EMC also said it has integrated Clariion with ATA with its own backup and restore application, EMC Data Manager (EDM), to offer a disk-based alternative to tape backup and restore processes.

"ATA is a huge incremental opportunity for us," said Chuck Hollis, EMC's vice president of platforms marketing, "ATA really spans the gap between Fibre Channel drives and tape."

However, he was careful to point out that ATA will complement and not replace tape as the backup medium of choice. "It doesn't replace tape," he said. "Tape will be cheaper and fits in a FedEx envelope nicely." He said it's aimed at customers who want to get a better service level for their offline data.

In terms of functionality, Hollis said, there is no difference between a Fibre Channel and an ATA-based Clariion. "Right out of the chute, all of the software and connectivity is there," he said.

Clariion CX600 and CX400 systems support 250 GB, 5,400 RPM ATA drives. List pricing for a 10 terabyte Clariion with ATA configuration starts at $170,000.

The Clariion system with ATA drives is available now.

The gist of SAN Copy is that users can copy volumes of data from a Clariion storage system to its larger brother, the Symmetrix, and back again over the SAN fabric. Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC didn't limit SAN Copy's capabilities to its own product line. The software can also be used by EMC Professional Services to perform data migration for Hewlett-Packard Co.'s StorageWorks environments. EMC Professional Services can use SAN Copy to move data from StorageWorks arrays onto EMC's storage platforms.

Mike Kahn, managing director at the Clipper Group Inc., Wellesley, Mass., said the software tool gives users a reliable way to move "massive" volumes of data between Clariion and Symmetrix systems.

Kahn said SAN Copy creates new possibilities for customers and that it will be welcomed into shops where moving data from Symmetrix to Clariion is a necessity.

"What may need to be stored on a Symmetrix at the outset may be moved to a cheaper ATA Clariion over time," Kahn said. "Users can build multiple tiers of storage from very small Clariions up to very large Symmetrix systems."

SAN Copy has been integrated with EMC's TimeFinder and SnapView local replication applications, eliminating the impact to production activities by using business continuance volumes (BCVs) or snapshots as source volumes, so applications stay online throughout the data movement process, according to the company.

Chuck Hollis, EMC's vice president of platforms marketing, said SAN copy works with current and legacy Clariion and Symmetrix storage systems and can move data over a SAN at 4 terabytes per hour.

"This seems to be a Swiss Army knife," Hollis said, pointing to the fact that SAN Copy serves many functions.

Hollis said users with production data on a Symmetrix can copy it to a Clariion for testing purposes, use SAN copy for data migration from an old system to a new one and push databases out to any part of a fabric and back again.

In conjunction with EMC's SAN Copy debut, switch maker Nishan Systems Corp. has already qualified its IPS 3300 and IPS 4300 storage routers for EMC SAN Copy data movement across IP storage networks. Dell Computer Corp. issued a press release of its own Wednesday outlining its intentions to offer SAN Copy to its users as well.

SAN Copy supports Clariion CX and FC Series systems and Symmetrix DMX and 8000 Series systems. It is priced starting at $18,000.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer

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