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SNW Preview: Data protection makes a stand

Led by EMC's integration of data deduplication and CDP into its backup software, data protection products are prominent at Storage Networking World.

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Data protection products are front and center this week at Storage Networking World (SNW), with EMC Corp. bolstering its NetWorker backup application with data deduplication and continuous data protection (CDP), FalconStor Software Inc. coming out with a VTL for remote offices, and Iron Mountain Inc. extending its Connected Backup line to Windows print and file servers..

EMC is injecting life into its stodgy NetWorker backup application by adding data technologies it picked up in acquisitions during 2006. Besides integrating emerging backup technologies into its core backup application as customers have demanded, EMC is clarifying the direction for NetWorker.

"We've integrated all of this into EMC NetWorker," said Rob Emsley, EMC senior director of software product marketing. "Ever since we bought Avamar, people have asked me, 'Is Avamar your primary backup application now?' No it isn't. NetWorker is our central backup platform."

More on data backup technologies
EMC drops $165M on data deduplication from Avamar

Symantec tips hand on CDP roadmap

IBM updates VTL, shuns data deduplication
Since buying Avamar Technologies for $165 million and Kashya Inc. for $153 million, EMC has sold Avamar as its deduplication product and the RecoverPoint product it got from Kashya for CDP. Now it's merged the Avamar agent with a new NetWorker client agent and let the NetWorker catalog track CDP snapshots. Administrators can manage deduplication and CDP through the NetWorker management console.

"I look at it as the culmination of all of their data protection technologies acquired over the last couple of years," said Steve Norall, analyst for the Taneja Group. "It's a logical step. You can dedupe at the source without having to use another set of applications. And CDP is integrated into the backup and recovery process, where before it was an adjunct."

EMC isn't finished integrating its technologies and even has some work to do with deduplication and CDP. For instance, although virtual tape libraries (VTLs) are considered a prime application for deduplication, EMC has yet to add deduplication to its VTL). Emsley said deduplication for the EMC Disk Library VTL is planned for mid-2008.

Although CommVault Systems Inc. has put data deduplication and continuous data replication (near CDP) into its Simpana backup suite, EMC is ahead of its major backup rivals, Symantec Corp. and IBM, when it comes to integrating the latest disk backup technologies. Symantec offers a PureDisk deduplication option with NetBackup but is still working on integrating CDP. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager has neither deduplication nor CDP.

FalconStor launches VTLs for SMBs
FalconStor, whose enterprise VTLs are sold by EMC, IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc. and others, is coming out with a VTL for SMBs and remote offices. Its new offerings, FalconStor VTL Storage Appliance and FalconStor VTL Virtual Appliance, support its Single Instance Repository (SIR) data deduplication and will be available this month. The appliances come in 6-, 12- and 24-drive configurations, and the virtual appliance is a software application that runs on VMware ESX Server.

FalconStor will sell the VTLs under its own brand and offer it to OEM partners. John Lallier, vice president of product technology, said there are no OEM deals to announce, but added, "I have no doubt you'll be hearing announcements soon."

Iron Mountain extends backup
Iron Mountain is coming out with Connected Backup for Server, aimed primarily at Connected Backup for PC customers who want to extend protection for Windows print and file servers. Backup for Server and Backup for PC are available as a subscription service or licensed software. Customers that use both can manage the backups from one console.

HDS launches low-end SAN
HDS, which has concentrated primarily on high-end enterprise storage area networks (SAN), is now going after the SMB market with the Hitachi Simple Modular Storage System.

Designed to be easy to set up and use, the iSCSI Windows-based SAN features RAID 6 and a repair slot that lets users change drives on the fly. The system is available in single- and dual-controller configurations and supports SAS or SATA drives, scaling from just under 1 TB to 9 TB and ranging in price from $5,000 to $13,000.

Dot Hill expands SAN family
Dot Hill Systems Corp. expanded its family of storage systems, adding low-end iSCSI and midrange systems built on the same architecture as its 2370 Fibre Channel SAN. The 2330 has an iSCSI interface and holds up to 56 SAS and SATA drives with an expected street price range of $13,000 to $21,500. The 5730 is a Fibre Channel system that holds up to 108 SATA or SAS drives and is expected to be priced from $26,000 to $34,000. All the systems support RAID 6 and have super capacitors instead of batteries.

Dot Hill sells its systems through OEM partners, including Network Appliance Inc., (NetApp) and Sun, but has not yet announced any OEM deals for the new systems.

IBM, LSI, Seagate combine on full-disk encryption
IBM's Encryption Key Management software appliances, LSI Corp.'s storage controllers and Seagate Technology's Full-Disk Encryption (FDE) drives are being combined into a new system designed to prevent data from being exposed when drives are removed from disk arrays for maintenance or repurposing. Seagate said that beginning in 2008, all of its disk drives will ship with FDE, though the company claims users will have the option of not using drives in "locked" or encrypted mode. FDE drives must also be added to a "secure volume group" under a controller that supports the encryption.

The alliance hasn't addressed how users access data on an array if encryption keys are lost or hacked, how the system can be backed up to nonencrypted appliances or how an encrypted system can be repurposed at a later date. The companies said that the approval of a Trusted Computing Group (TCG) security standard next year will resolve the issues around interoperability. But according to IBM senior marketing manager Allen Marin, "If you lose those [encryption] keys, you might as well throw the [storage] box away."

CipherMax expands encryption features
CipherMax Inc. beefed up support for its CipherMax CM140T tape encryption devices to let administrators manage encryption keys for LTO-4, legacy tape and VTLs through one interface. CipherMax allows encrypted LTO-3 and LTO-2 tapes to be read in LTO-4 drives.

Symantec combines backup, systems management
Symantec has released a free downloadable "connector" that will integrate the desktop and server management software that it gained when it acquired Altiris in January with Backup Exec System Recovery. The software module, called the Backup Exec System Recovery Integration Component for Altiris, will let administrators set up backup policies, schedule regular backups and order unscheduled incremental backups to prepare for system maintenance on workstations and servers through by Altiris Notification Server. The connector is available on the Altiris Web site.

Emulex to develop FCoE products
Emulex Corp. has signed a technology agreement with a shadowy Cisco-funded startup, Nuova Systems Inc., to help develop a line of Emulex Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) products. Products are expected to be available in the second half of 2008, with customer testing beginning in the first half of 2008.

Xiotech adds automatic provisioning, Web services
Xiotech Corp. announced the Magnitude 4000 array, a spruced-up replacement for its Magnitude 3000 product line that includes new virtualization and development features. One such addition is what Xiotech has dubbed Intelligent Provisioning -- the ability for users to set predefined parameters for virtual disk size, logical unit number (LUN) size and expansion parameters for growing volumes and have the system perform provisioning automatically. Users with software development skills will be able to cook up new applications or new ways for applications to integrate with the array through support for Web services. A new GUI offers both storage- and server-centric views.

Fujitsu retools Eternus arrays
Fujitsu is bringing out an SMB series within its Eternus product line, called the Eternus 2000. The new series of Fibre Channel arrays includes the 18 TB Model 100 and the 54 TB Model 200. The products have encryption and replication built-in, and share common management tools with the rest of Fujitsu's arrays. Pricing starts at $11,100. Fujitsu representatives indicated that Model 200 will replace the low-end model in the existing Eternus 4000 line.

Arkeia adds centralized management to remote backup appliances
Arkeia Software said it has "several dozen" users of its EdgeFort remote office backup appliance product, made generally available in July, and now those users will have a long-promised capability: centralized remote management. EdgeFort boxes could previously be managed remotely, but not in one console.

Agami supports compression for primary data
Agami Systems and Storwize (formerly known as Storwiz) Inc. will announce that the agami Information Server now supports the STN-6000 compression appliance from Storwize. The Storewize appliance performs in-band data compression. The company claims a 5-to-1 data reduction ratio on CIFS and NFS traffic.

Crossroads floats raft of product enhancements
Crossroads Systems Inc. is bulking up its data protection product lines. Crossroads is launching the ShareLoader SL1024i, an iSCSI-based VTL appliance for remote and branch offices. It is also adding file-level encryption to its Virtual Tape Server, which emulates a daisy chain of direct-attached tape drives (rather than a full library). The company has also expanded support of its ReadVerify tape reporting and monitoring appliance to libraries of 2000 drives or more.

CommVault extends deals with Dell, HDS
Dell Inc. and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will rebrand CommVault's Simpana data protection software, extending OEM deals both systems vendors already had. Dell will rebrand the software as CommVault Simpana 7.0, while HDS will continue to call CommVault's backup suite Hitachi Data Protection Suite (HDPS) powered by CommVault.

IStor launches new SAN line
IStor unveiled the integraStor family of SMB iSCSI systems that scale to 100 TB and include snapshot, CDP, and SAS and SATA support.

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