EMC to roll out new virtual tape libraries

New VTLs allow users to back up more data, faster, to disk

EMC next week plans to roll out three new virtual tape library appliances that back up data faster and have greater capacities than previous Clariion disk libraries, allowing customers to back up more data faster to disk.

EMC also is expected to preview a new version of its high-end Symmetrix DMX-3 storage array. The DMX-3 950 is an entry-level array for this platform. The company also plans to preview new iSCSI and Fibre Channel connectivity for its midrange Clariion arrays and new Navisphere software for the Clariion that lets IT administrators set QoS levels. EMC also is set to preview new models of its network-attached storage Celerra NSX and NS Series.

EMC declined to comment on any of the announcements.

According to company documents, the DL4000 Series has twice the performance and capacity of the previous EMC CDL. The DL4000 Series consists of three models, which will replace the current DL710, DL720 and DL740. The new DL4100, DL4200 and DL4400 are priced as much as 10 percent lower than the DL700 series appliances.

Each model of the DL4000 Series has 4Gbps Fibre Channel and uses EMC's UltraScale architecture, which consists of PCI-Express technology to sustain high bandwidth and low latency. The DL4000 Series joins EMC's low-end DL210, which has a total capacity of 24TB.

Each DL4000 Series appliance consists of an Intel controller, 12 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports and six Gigabit Ethernet ports, connected to Clariion CX3-80 storage arrays via a QLogic host bus adapter. The DL4100 and DL4200 perform at up to 1,100Mbps; the DL4400 performs at up to 2,200Mbps.

"Obviously there is more data that needs to be stored for longer periods of time; we need large-capacity storage systems to address the needs for consolidated and tiered storage," says Greg Schulz, senior analyst for StorageIO. "If you look at the [virtual tape library] market, it continues to grow -- as organizations adopt VTL technology, it only makes sense to have bigger and larger VTL configurations with more capacity and controllers."

The DL4100, a single Intel controller version, tops out at 170TB and 1,024 virtual tape drives. The DL4200 also has a maximum capacity of 170TB, but unlike the DL4100 it has two controllers. The DL4400 has a maximum capacity of 340TB and can support as many as 2,045 virtual tape drives.

All models in the DL4000 Series support DL Copy, Automated Control System Library Server software for Sun/StorageTek tape libraries, Active Engine Failover, Legato NetWorker Node Manager and the Symantec NetBackup Media Server software. DL Copy lets administrators replicate data between local or remote locations. Active Engine Failover allows backup jobs to fail over from one controller to another without restarting the jobs.

EMC's consolidated media management software lets customers manage both virtual and physical tape pools via a single application interface. Operation of the Disk Library is integrated with the NetWorker and NetBackup software and supports cloning of virtual to physical tapes locally or over distance.

New software capabilities with the DL4000 Series include the ability to manage as many as eight EMC disk libraries, support for twice the number of emulated virtual tape libraries and drives, and enhanced IP replication capabilities.

EMC's CDLs compete with those from Network Appliance, IBM and Sun. Unlike EMC's 4Gbps performance, IBM, HP and Sun only provide 2Gbps.

Pricing is not immediately available for the new DL4000 Series appliances, which are expected to be available in November.

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