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EMC unveils data deduplication, spin-down for VTLs

At EMC World, EMC launched three virtual tape libraries that include data deduplication software from Quantum. Users can choose either inline or post-process deduplication, and the largest of the new VTL models -- the EMC Disk Library 4000 -- is based on the first Clariion disk array model to ship with drive spin-down.

LAS VEGAS - It's official: EMC Corp. launched three new virtual tape libraries (VTLs) at EMC World today that include Quantum Corp.'s data deduplication software. Users of the disk-based backup hardware can choose either inline or post-process deduplication, and the largest of the new VTL models -- the EMC Disk Library 4000 -- is based on the first Clariion disk array model to ship with drive spin-down.

EMC Disk Library 4000 customers can get data deduplication and the new drive spin-down capability as free upgrades. Dave Donatelli, president of the storage division for EMC, said the drive spin-down has been engineered into the Clariion mid-range disk array that the EMC disk library is based on.

"Over time we will open this up to other applications," Donatelli said, but declined to give a timeframe. "We believe features like spin-down deserve to be available across all products. The 4000 is the first way to use it."

It's been known for months that EMC would license Quantum software for deduplication with disk targets, but not why EMC declined to use its own Avamar dedupe software in that capacity. Donatelli explained that Avamar's software hasn't been used for target-based deduplication because it has been developed specifically to dedupe at the source. "We will be using Avamar in other deduplication cases," he said. "But we're not announcing anything today."

As for why EMC is offering both source- and target-based dedupe, Donatelli said that EMC sees a wide variety of use cases for data backup and replication. These different uses are best addressed with separate products, and, he said, "We want to offer them all."

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According to a presentation made by Donatelli today at EMC World, EMC has slotted Avamar into the remote/branch office space. EMC added remote administration support and notification to Avamar 4.0 to help address the remote market.

"[Remote office backup] is what Avamar has always been," said Data Mobility Group analyst Robin Harris. He added, "EMC is very good at promoting what they have and not apologizing for what they don't. I would imagine that this has been on the wish list of Avamar users for quite some time."

EMC is also adding a bundle of EMC Networker backup software which includes installation wizards and pre-packaged features designed to boost the software's appeal to mid-tier customers. The bundle includes one NetWorker server (Linux or Windows), 20 clients, support for five application modules for hot backups of SQL, Exchange and Oracle, 10 TB backup to disk, a 40-slot Autochanger and 40 hours of video instructor-led training. The package has a starting list price of $18,500.

As previously reported on, the new VTLs will be available in three models: the 3D 1500, with 36 TB physical capacity, up to 720 MBps throughput, 6 GbE ports, 2 SAN ports and a NAS or VTL interface; the 3D3000, with up to 148 TB, 1.4 TB per hour throughput, 6 GbE ports, 4 FC ports and a NAS or VTL interface; and the EMC Disk Library 4000, with up to 148 TB, total logical capacity of 822 TB, 8 TB per hour throughput, 8 FC ports and a VTL interface.

The VTLs also support RAID 6 and 1 TB SATA disks, including 5400 RPM low-power models, which EMC claims draw 32% less energy than their 7200 RPM counterparts. The 1500 and 3000 will be available May 28 for list prices of $115,000 and $230,000, respectively. The 4000 option will become available at the end of July and starts at $200,000.

EMC also upgraded Avamar Data Store, which is Avamar software sold with pre-configured hardware. Avamar Data Store 2 doubles the capacity per server node up to 32 TB, which EMC claims will support up to 250 daily full backups of VMware, file servers and remote-office data. In addition to remote support and notification, Avamar 4.0 adds support for 64-bit Red Hat Linux 4, and expanded client support for SQL, Vista, Netware native client, Novell Storage Servers and Novell Open Enterprise Server. The Avamar software and NetWorker bundle are available immediately. The new Data Store will become available Friday.

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