EMC expands VTL offerings

By Ann Silverthorn

—EMC is bringing virtual tape library (VTL) technology to the entry-level and branch-office market by adding the DL210 to its Clariion Disk Library (CDL) line of VTL appliances. The company also launched the fourth generation of its CDL management platform, and expanded support for tape libraries and backup software. EMC first introduced the CDL line two years ago with the DL700 enterprise-level VTL appliance.

The DL210 replaces the DL310 and has a starting price of about $50,000. It offers 4TB to 24TB of capacity with up to 380MBps performance. The VTL supports 500GB Serial ATA (SATA) drives and up to 3:1 compression. The product features wizards for installation and capacity upgrades as well as DL Copy, which allows users to replicate between libraries in separate locations. For example, enterprises can house DL210 appliances in branch offices and a DL700 series appliance in the data center, moving data from core to edge and back again.

Improvements to the CDL software include backup application integration for the higher-end DL710, DL720, and DL740 libraries with media management capabilities for virtual and physical media. With the enhancements, EMC's NetWorker 7.3 backup software has full control of operations and tracks all tape movement at both local and remote sites. This integration is designed to provide a common management platform for both virtual and physical tape assets and extends disaster-recovery and archiving capabilities. Integration with backup applications from other vendors is on the road map.

"With some of the traditional VTL solutions, the backup application doesn't know when the data has been moved to tape, and it loses control of where the data resides," says Barry Ader, senior director of Clariion marketing for EMC. "Data must be restored from physical tape to virtual tape, and then another function restores it from virtual tape to the backup application.

"When NetWorker 7.3 is integrated, it knows when the data moves to virtual tape and also knows when the data gets moved out to the physical tape library," Ader continues. "For audit purposes you have a single command and control, and for restore you have a single place to do single-step restore."

The CDL platform also now includes support for virtual tape shredding and a command line interface, which gives users the ability to automate functions through scripts.

The third component of the announcement includes interoperability with IBM's iSeries platforms. In addition, expanded support for tape libraries and backup software includes libraries from ADIC, Overland, Quantum, and Sun/StorageTek, as well as support for IBM's Backup Recovery & Media Services (BRMS) and OS400 native backup applications.

The DL210 and interoperability enhancements are currently available, and the software upgrades will be available next month.

In addition to EMC, users have a plethora of VTL vendors to choose from, including ADIC, Bus-Tech, Copan Systems, Data Domain, Digi-Data, Diligent Technologies, FalconStor Software, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett-Packard (via a reseller deal with Sepaton), IBM, JMR, Maxxan, Neartek, Network Appliance (see "NetApp joins VTL fray"), Overland, Quantum, Sepaton, Sun/StorageTek, and Ultera. (FalconStor's VirtualTape Library technology is resold by a number of vendors, including Copan, Digi-Data, EMC, JMR, and Maxxan.)

For further help sorting out virtual tape options, see "Cost, compatibility are key for VTLs."

This article was originally published on April 17, 2006