EMC adds CDP, de-dupe to NetWorker

Posted on November 01, 2007

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By Kevin Komiega

EMC customers in search of a simple way to incorporate continuous data protection (CDP) and data de-duplication into their environments can rest easy. The company has enhanced NetWorker, its flagship backup-and- recovery software, to include the integrated management of EMC Avamar and RecoverPoint technologies.

The Avamar de-duplication technology stores a single copy of sub-file data segments across sites and servers, reducing the amount of data that is backed up. Combining Avamar software and NetWorker reduces the amount of file system data to back up under a common management interface and backup workflow. 

The de-duplication technology has been integrated directly into the NetWorker client to allow management for scheduling, policy creation, retention, monitoring and reporting-all through the NetWorker Management Console. Users will be able to back up and recover de-duplication clients using the NetWorker interfaces and workflows used for all other clients. 

Similarly, the integration of RecoverPoint with NetWorker lets users manage RecoverPoint through the same interface and allows for the scheduling of CDP snapshots and policy creation. It also allows users to browse the index of RecoverPoint-based snapshots.

End users can still opt to purchase Avamar and RecoverPoint products independently, but NetWorker users can do so with the knowledge that they will have centralized control and management of all backup operations under NetWorker.

“NetWorker sits at the center of everything we’re doing. Now we’re bringing together next-generation capabilities to give customers new opportunities to solve old problems in the backup process,” says Rob Emsley, senior director of software product marketing at EMC.

Emsley claims EMC has hundreds of customers already using Avamar technology for data de-duplication, and hundreds more running RecoverPoint for CDP. Integrating control of the product lines has been on EMC’s to-do list since the company acquired Avamar and Kashya.

“CDP and de-duplication are key next-generation technologies, along with our virtual tape library [VTL] technology, that are integral components,” says Emsley.

To take advantage of the CDP and de-duplication features, NetWorker customers have to increase their investment in EMC gear by purchasing an Avamar server or RecoverPoint server for their environment.

Clipper Group analyst Mike Fisch says there is growing demand for technologies such as CDP and de-duplication. “These technologies solve real problems. In the case of de-dupe, it’s reining in data and storage capacity growth. In the case of CDP, it’s faster time to recovery and resuming business operations,” says Fisch.

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Management integration is a logical first step toward delivering an all-encompassing data-protection platform. “This is a step that delivers real value from an end-user perspective, especially for Net- Worker customers that want a path to next- generation capabilities,” says Fisch.

Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, says that most vendors are heading down a path of integrating next-generation technologies into a single software package. “For example, CommVault has had an organic approach in building out its own backup, CDP, replication, and archiving technologies. BakBone has backup and replication and has just added CDP (see “BakBone integrates CDP with backup,” above), and Symantec has multiple components that they’re bringing together,” says Whitehouse. Citing other examples, Whitehouse notes that CA has backup and replication and is continuing to integrate more functionality. Other examples include Hewlett-Packard, Asigra, and EVault, all of which have the technologies to bring together integrated software packages with advanced features for backup and recovery, according to Whitehouse.

In addition to the NetWorker news, EMC also introduced new platforms and software updates in other areas of its backup, recovery, and archiving portfolio.

On the hardware side, the company has revamped its EMC Disk Library DL4000 to support RAID 6, as well as 1TB SATA disk drives that provide 30% more overall system capacity. In addition to the DL4000, the Clariion CX series and Celerra systems also now support the 1TB drives.

On the software side, a new version of EMC Backup Advisor features expanded application and host platform support for improved analysis and reporting of backup environments.  

Backup Advisor is a customizable backup reporting, alerting, monitoring, and correlation analysis tool for NetWorker and other backup software products. Backup Advisor now supports Comm-Vault’s Galaxy, CA’s ArcServ, Symantec’s PureDisk, and Network Appliance’s NearStore VTL, in addition to EMC’s DL 4000. The software can identify and analyze backup issues and help administrators with optimization and planning. New security capabilities in the software include Windows authentication for SQL Server, an audit trail of all configuration changes, encrypted communications, user authentication, additional role-based permissions, and SSL authentication.


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