By Lisa Coleman
This month, EMC added software enhancements to its Clariion FC4700, pushing the midrange storage array's functionality closer to that of EMC's flagship Symmetrix array.
The software upgrades consolidate management and enable better disaster recovery. The announcement was made jointly by EMC and Dell. Last October, EMC and Dell formed a partnership in which Dell would re-sell the Clariion line. Dell was not involved in the development of the software upgrades, however.
"There's some interesting movement going on," says John Webster, senior analyst at market research firm Illuminata, in Nashua, NH. "One is the shift more toward Dell with the marketing of the Clariion product line, and the other is EMC's willingness to move Clariion's functionality closer to Symmetrix."
The software upgrades include ControlCenter Navisphere Version 6.0 management software, MirrorView remote synchronous mirroring for data protection, and SnapView point-in-time snapshots for backups.
ControlCenter Navisphere is a Web-enabled interface for remote management of FC4700s. The software includes secure socket layer (SSL) encryption technology, user classification, identification, and authorization for security.
MirrorView is EMC's business continuance and disaster-recovery product for the FC4700. It provides synchronous data mirroring between geographically separated FC4700s. MirrorView 1.3 enables the FC4700 to use the same port for host application traffic and MirrorView remote mirroring traffic.
"The increase in functionality allows midrange systems to be used in environments where previously only high-end systems could be employed," says Joel Schwartz, EMC's senior vice president and general manager.
The software also allows for concurrent mirroring, where a single Clariion system can simultaneously mirror data to two independent target Clariion systems. Users can maintain two exact copies of production data in two locations. For example, each copy can be used for disaster restart as well as parallel processing.
In addition, MirrorView lets a single Clariion system serve as a business continuity target for up to four source Clariion systems so that users can perform consolidated backups, remote processing, and simplified fail-over.
Finally, SnapView Version 1.3a non-disruptive point-in-time backup-and-recovery enablersupports up to eight active snapshots per FC4700 LUN. Users can perform multiple, simultaneous processes such as backups, decision support queries, and data warehouse refreshes against the same data at the same time.