EMC Focuses on Data Protection for VMAX, VPLEX Refresh

By Pedro Hernandez

EMC today announced new updates to its VMAX and VPLEX storage systems and the company's RecoverPoint software, all of which are aimed at extending the company's data protection capabilities to more types of workloads and customers.

Following up on its cloud-provider-friendly VMAX SP release, the company has updated the continuous data protection (CDP) capabilities of the company's high-end VMAX storage systems via its underlying software, Enginuity 5876.

New Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and RecoverPoint integration enables the company to provide fine-grained, continuous data protection even on remote copies. A "first" for the enterprise storage market, "RecoverPoint CDP allows you take a point of time copy every minute or every transaction," said Colin Bailey, senior director of product marketing for EMC VMAX. This imbues organizations with a "continuum of data protection" that provides faster, timelier restores in the event of application failure or other IT mishaps.

This makes VMAX "the leading operational recovery" solution, according to Bailey. Instead of rolling back to hours- or days-old snapshots, administrators have the flexibility to pin down the exact time and cause of a fault or failure and "recover their data to any point," including moments before disaster struck.

Also new is "tighter integration with XtremSW," EMC's flash caching products. "Customers will want to run flash everywhere in the infrastructure," informed Bailey and features like automatic LUN selection and a larger set of XtremSW Cache statistics are meant to help them better leverage flash to speed up their workloads.

Other VMAX enhancements include new management features like REST API support and the ability to set dynamic and cascaded host I/O limits. VMAX also now integrates better with mainframe, IBM i series and Microsoft ODX environments.

EMC's virtual storage platform, VPLEX gets a new frame-based licensing model for VNX unified storage arrays, bringing CDP to virtual workloads within reach of more midrange IT organizations.

According to Ken MacDonald, senior director of product marketing for VPLEX and RecoverPoint, updates to the VPLEX's GeoSynchrony 5.2 software provides both "read-write accessibility" (versus replication) and "continuous availability" on VPLEX infrastructures that cover two locations.

Essentially, data is read/writeable at two locations at the same time, enabling both "zero unplanned downtime" and "zero planned downtime" scenarios when organizations suffer an outage or undergo storage infrastructure upgrades, explained MacDonald. Additional updates include improved VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI) support and big block I/O enhancements.

Finally, RecoverPoint 4.0 is striking out on its own, a move that allows more midrange enterprises to deploy the data recovery platform.

Previously, the software "shipped only on a physical appliance," said MacDonald. On orders of four appliances, the number typically used for comprehensive protection, the costs could quickly mount. Version 4.0 will be available "as a virtual appliance for VNX customers," he added, which "dramatically lowers the entry point" for buyers.

RecoverPoint now scales up to 2 PB, a 7X improvement. It offers synchronous replication over IP, 1:4 and 4:1 multi-site "fan-out, fan-in" replication capabilities and a 60 percent improvement in asynchronous throughput.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on April 30, 2013