EMC adds to backup portfolio, intros power-saving technology

"Spin down" technology automatically puts idle disk drives into sleep mode, will eventually feature on mainstream EMC products

EMC unveiled new products and features for data backup at EMC World in Las Vegas this week, including data de-duplication upgrades and a new "spin down" technology that automatically puts idle disk drives into sleep mode.

Spin down is enabled by a new algorithm written into software for EMC's Disk Library 4000, the first product to benefit from this technique which EMC says reduces power and cooling costs by 19 percent.

Spin down appears to be an important part of EMC's future product plans, but the company didn't say exactly which products will gain the feature in addition to Disk Library 4000.

"We think features like spin down deserve to be on mainstream products," said EMC storage president David Donatelli. "Over time we will open this up to other applications."

Donatelli also talked about new de-duplication capabilities EMC is rolling out, saying that customers are struggling with duplicate data at a time when information is growing 60 percent a year. "Data centers don't get 60 percent more power and floor space each year," Donatelli said. "They have a constant challenge to keep up with this information."

A common problem occurs when an employee creates a PowerPoint presentation and e-mails it to various colleagues. Instead of storing each copy, EMC's de-duplication creates a pointer that accesses the original. Even if someone makes a change to the PowerPoint, only the changed page will be stored, Donatelli said.

Here's a rundown of the new products and features:

EMC Disk Library 3D 1500 and 3000: These new LAN backup-to-disk systems targeted at midsize businesses use policy-based data de-duplication and IP replication to ensure availability, reduce the amount of data that has to be backed up, and meet requirements for off-site protection without physically transporting tapes. With general availability beginning May 28, pricing starts at US$115,000 for the 1500, and $230,000 for the 3000.

EMC Disk Library 4000: EMC's open systems virtual tape library is being updated with data de-duplication and spin down technology which saves power by automatically spinning down disk drives when they are not being used. Together, the spin down feature and new high-capacity, low-power disk drives will reduce energy usage for power and cooling by as much as 47 percent, according to EMC. Generally available May 28, pricing for the updated system starts at US$200,000. The spin down option will also be available as a free upgrade to previous versions.

EMC Avamar Data Store Gen 2 and Avamar 4.0: These are the newest versions of the Avamar backup and recovery products, featuring data de-duplication, double the backup capacity over previous versions, and several new support and ease-of-use features. "Customers use up to 43 percent less energy per terabyte backed up and reduce total cost of ownership by up to 25 percent compared to the first generation solution -- and by up to 75 percent relative to tape," EMC said. Avamar 4.0 is available now and Avamar Data Store Gen 2 will be generally available May 23.

EMC NetWorker Fast Start: This is a new package of EMC's NetWorker backup software that is designed for midsize businesses and is easier to install. Deployment time is as much as 75 percent shorter than previous editions, and there are 80% fewer installation steps, EMC says. NetWorker Fast Start costs US$18,500.

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