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EMC remakes 8 Gbps FC/10 GbE Clariion; Georgens named CEO of NetApp, says Data Ontap 8 is soon

Headlines: EMC RecoverPoint, Replication Manager and Navisphere will now allow provisioning and replication by virtual machine rather than by physical server or LUN; Tom Georgens replaces Dan Warmenhoven as NetApp CEO, says a release of scale-out operating system Data Ontap 8 is imminent.

EMC remakes 8 Gbps FC/10 GbE Clariion provisioning in VMware's image

EMC Corp. has updated its Clariion CX4 disk arrays, as well as its RecoverPoint and Replication Manager continuous data protection (CDP) and replication software, to allow customers to manage the products according to individual guest machines instead of physical hosts, volumes or logical unit numbers (LUNs).

The company also added synchronous replication to RecoverPoint, 8 Gbps Fibre Channel (FC) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) support in Clariion, and general availability of drive spin-down in Clariion arrays through EMC and partner Dell Inc.

VM-aware Navisphere improves storage management for virtual machines

To accommodate the proliferation of virtual machines, EMC refreshed the FLARE microcode for Clariion CX4 systems to allow the attachment of more initiators or endpoint connections. The CX4-960 -- the largest Clariion array -- can now support up to 4,096 initiators vs. 512 before this upgrade. The 10 GbE and 8 Gbps FC support gives the arrays more bandwidth as volumes of virtual machines grow.

Read the rest of this story on EMC's update of Clariion CX4 disk arrays.

NetApp names Georgens CEO, says Data Ontap 8 is coming

NetApp named Tom Georgens CEO Wednesday night while reporting better earnings than expected for the last quarter. The company also dropped hints that the release of its long-awaited Data Ontap 8 operating system is weeks away.

Georgens was promoted from chief operating officer (COO) and president to replace Dan Warmenhoven, who will become executive chairman after 15 years as CEO. Georgens was widely considered Warmenhoven's likely successor, and Warmenhoven said Wednesday his intention was to retire before he turned 60 in little more than a year.

Georgens joined NetApp in 2005 from LSI Corp. (then LSI Logic), where he was CEO of its Engenio storage systems division. He was viewed as the heir apparent to Warmenhoven as early as 2006, and was promoted to COO last year.

"This is exactly why Tom Georgens was brought in," said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group Inc. "It was a question of time, but it was always going to happen."

Read more about NetApp's new CEO.

NetApp begins rollout of Data Ontap 8

NetApp Inc. launched the long-awaited rollout of its Data Ontap 8 operating system today, bringing support for scale-out NAS clusters in Data Ontap GX into the same code base as Data Ontap 7G, NetApp's most recent "conventional" operating system release.

The merger of the code base comes nearly six years after NetApp acquired Spinnaker Networks for its scale-out network-attached storage IP. Until now, the scale-out capabilities were limited to GX, while Ontap 7G contained data management and protection features such as snapshots and replication, and only supported two-way high-availability clusters.

Integration of the two operating systems will be incremental, according to Patrick Rogers, NetApp's vice president of solutions marketing. While the two pieces of software have been integrated into the same underlying code base to lay the foundation for feature integration, customers must still choose between running in "7G mode" and "GX" mode with the first release, available in September. Volume mirroring is one exception to this -- that feature will be made available in GX mode with the first release.

Read more on Data Ontap 8.

Spectra Logic's BlueScale automates data replication across disk and tape with data deduplication

Spectra Logic Corp. updated its BlueScale management software suite this week, adding the ability to migrate replicated data automatically between tiers of disk with data deduplication and physical tape.

Spectra Logic is best known for high-end physical tape libraries, but sells an nTier line of disk backup devices with FalconStor data deduplication under the covers. The company also integrates data backup software from Symantec Corp. into its management suite as a data mover, and supports the software for customers.

The new BlueScale 10.6 release lets users set policies that will automate the movement of data from primary storage, remote and branch offices to the disk repository, then to the physical tape library after a pre-set retention period.

Learn how to help customers decide between low-cost disk backup vs. tape.

Data deduplication backup appliance market matures

As data deduplication becomes more common in data backup implementations, a slew of vendors have thrown their hat in the ring with Data Domain (recently acquired by EMC Corp.), the dedupe market's heavyweight.

Though the data deduplication market has matured quickly, "it's still the Wild West," in terms of widespread implementation, according to Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Taneja Group. And he said that because vendors haven't done apples-to-apples comparisons of their products, "there's a continuing mystery in the market about who does well under what circumstances. Every one has places they do well and don't do well."

The data deduplication effect

"Deduplication is an effect, not even a technology," said Brian Biles, founder and vice president of product management at Data Domain. "There are lots of different ways you can do it, and a lot of them have varying side effects. A lot of key issues boil down to where it is the best fit."

Data Domain continues to dominate the market. Its appliance dedupes inline, as data is being written to disk. Bill Andrews, CEO of Exagrid, considers Data Domain their No. 1 competitor. "Data Domain was first, so they got the world thinking inline," said Andrews. Exagrid deduplicates post-process, after backup data has been written to disk.

Learn how to develop a backup data reduction strategy for your customers.

IBM beefs up midrange storage arrays with 8 Gig FC, iSCSI, self-encrypting drives

IBM has upgraded its midrange disk array storage systems, rolling out the IBM System Storage DS5020 Express with support for 8 Gbps Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI and self-encrypting drives.

The DS5020 Express is based on LSI Corp.'s Engenio 4900 that IBM sells through an OEM deal. It replaces the DS4700, which IBM plans to sell through the rest of 2009 and support for at least five years.

Harold Pike, IBM's DS5020 offering manager, said the new unit is designed for virtualized environments that support multiple applications. "When you do that, what you really need is a product that has tremendous mixed workload capabilities," he said.

Need to know what questions to ask about disk array replication projects? Read here.

Vendors take steps to lock down cloud storage services

Cloud storage services offer virtually unlimited capacity, no infrastructure installation or support, and flexible payment options for organizations large and small. But these positives are often overshadowed by cloud security issues, whether perceived or real. Before signing up with managed services, organizations therefore want to be sure they're as secure as in-house solutions.

"There's a perception barrier that the market is going through on cloud security," said Rob Commins, director of product marketing at 3PAR Inc., which counts cloud providers as customers for its storage systems.

Commins said those concerns are often misplaced, considering measures taken by cloud providers to keep customer data safe.

"Performance, scalability, security -- all those things are the cloud providers' business," Commins said. "If I'm in the business of making toothpicks, I'm only spending 5%, maybe 10% of my company's budget on technology. These guys are spending 100% of their time on technology."

Read here for more on cloud storage services options.

Ocarina deduplication and Isilon clustered NAS help visual effects studio archive images, cut costs

The visual effects studio that helps produce the TV crime drama CSI: Las Vegas solved its own online archiving budget mystery by deploying Ocarina Networks' ECOsystem data compression and deduplication appliance with Isilon Systems Inc.'s IQ clustered network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

Zoic Studios, which splits operations between Los Angeles and Vancouver, B.C., has 200 TB of capacity on its primary Isilon IQ 1920 clustered NAS nodes, and late last year was looking for a way to keep frequently used images online for its artists so they wouldn't have to duplicate work when a new project started.

Previously, Zoic Studios archived each project to tape using an Overland Storage Inc. NEO 4000 series tape library and BakBone Software Inc.'s NetVault: backup software.

Read the full story on studio's use of Ocarina deduplication and Isilon clustered NAS.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup here.

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