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EMC releases Networker Fast Start virtual appliance

A post by EMC’s Storagezilla over the weekend spread the news that EMC’s scaled-down version of its Networker backup product, Fast Start, is being made available as a virtual storage appliance (VSA).

‘zilla emphasizes that the Networker VSA is for demo purposes only, going so far as to say “Thou shalt not use this for production backups.” But the curious part is EMC also offers a VSA for its Avamar ROBO/dedupe software that is meant for use in production.

I know that there are big differences between Avamar and Networker, especially in scale. Performance can also limit scalability in virtual appliances. But other companies have offered VSAs using scaled-back versions of software for use in smaller environments, similar to Networker Fast Start (at least according to how it’s described on the product page).

Update:‘zilla let me know that you *can* run Networker in production on a VM, just not this particular time-limited VM.

EMC also has a not-for-production Celerra VSA. ‘zilla encourages a combo of the Networker and Celerra VSAs for a “NetWorker Advanced File Type Device.” But that device would still be not-for-production.

FalconStor basically calls this kind of configuration the Network Storage Server (NSS) and it’s available as a virtual appliance, very much for production use. EMC could have a competitor here with Networker and Celerra VSAs, but discourages their use in production. I’m not sure what to make of that.

In the meantime, there are more VSAs on the market now, for production use or otherwise, than you can shake a stick at. User/blogger Martin Glassborow (StorageBod) is putting several through their testing paces over at his place.

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