By Kevin Komiega
-- EMC began offering a new version of its Avamar data deduplication software today with a new desktop and laptop deduplication feature, support for VMware vSphere 4, increased backup capacity, and a new feature that exports deduplicated data directly to tape.
EMC is supporting desktop and laptop deduplication in Avamar 5.0 using "lightweight" agents for the Windows and Mac operating systems, according to Rob Emsley, senior director, EMC's Storage Division.
The Avamar agents operate in the background to deduplicate client data at the source. Data can be backed up automatically or users can initiate their own backups. Desktop and laptop users can also search for and recover data on their own without getting IT involved.
EMC touts its new desktop/laptop support as a cost-effective option for end-to-end data protection.
"Many solutions for desktops are point solutions or they are priced on a seat by seat basis. We license Avamar on a back-end, deduplicated capacity model," says Emsley. "We have collapsed the way that we license the overall solution to be very simplistic so as not to nickel and dime the user."
Also new in Avamar 5.0 is support for VMware vSphere4. The software is now capable of performing VMware guest OS-based backups and has the ability to back up entire virtual machines (VMs) through integration with VMware's new vStorage APIs. Emsley says guest OS backups are used as the primary mechanism for file-level recovery in virtual environments, while vCenter API integration gives users the option of image level, bare metal recovery of VMs.
VMware vCenter has been integrated into the Avamar management console for centralized management of all backups.
EMC also increased the total backup capacity of its Avamar Data Store storage system by 60%. The new Avamar Data Store Gen3 is available in 5- to 16-node configurations with up to 3.3TB of capacity per node for scalability up to 52.8TB of deduplicated data.
For tape users, Avamar 5.0 offers a feature called Avamar Data Transport for Long Term Storage. The feature exports deduplicated data to tape via policy-based processes.
Emsley says Avamar Data Transport streamlines the tape management process. "In the past, users would have to extract data from the Avamar server, re-hydrate it to a staging server and then back it up to tape. We now encapsulate backup data into [virtual] Avamar data transport nodes and then backup the VMs to tape, reducing the amount of tape media you need."