Today, EMC is announcing a refresh of its entire data protection roster, to best position the offerings for the transition to software-defined IT environments. The enhancements include major changes to the EMC Data Protection Suite, a refresh of the Data Domain operating system which adds new capabilities and a new release of VPLEX.
“With the emergence of the software-defined datacenter, based on virtual infrastructure, our perspective is that data protection needs to evolve,” said Rob Emsley, Senior Director of Marketing for EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division.
“Traditional backup software vendors focus on enabling backup admins to perform backup themselves, and we fundamentally believe that doesn’t scale,” Emsley explained. “We believe data protection needs to transform from a task that backup admins perform to a service-based delivery model that everybody consumes. We also believe that because the scale today is becoming so large, it is too hard to drive it through a single backup architecture.”
Emsley also stressed that the evolution of data protection requires support of Data Protection as a Service.
“We believe in empowering visibility and control in the data protection space,” Emsley said. “Other backup vendors don’t want to empower IT to not have to use their software.”
The Data Protection Suite, which EMC introduced a year ago, consists of EMC’s Avamar, NetWorker, Data Protection Advisor, Mozy and SourceOne software offerings.
“We are seeing more use of public cloud infrastructures, aimed at the service provider market, so we are integrating Avamar as an embedded service within VMware vCloud director,” Emsley said. “This plug-in lets the service provider seamlessly leverage EMC data protection technology and offer it as an element of the service they are providing. This makes backup technology an embedded service, and will be popular for anyone delivering vCloud services. It is now the first standard backup API for VMware cloud providers, and this is significant.”
The lack of full integration between Avamar and Data Domain has long been called out by competitors, and finally, with this release, the task is complete.
“The integration with Data Domain has been done progressively and we have now completed all support for Avamar workloads,” Emsley said. “Customers can now get the best of both platforms – the efficiency of Avamar paired with the performance and scale of Data Domain.”
With Networker, EMC is enhancing Snapshot Management for Isilon, VNX and NetApp arrays to improve protection for NAS-based data.
“This expands Snapshot Management to the world of NAS,” Emsley said. “Isilon, VNX and NetApp are the majority of market deployed for NAS, and this will let customers supplement data protection with the frequent Snapshot capability NAS platforms provide.” This provides visibility for both storage and backup admins, and the auto-discovery and cataloging of snapshots allows autodiscovery of what the customer is already doing.
Microsoft cloud infrastructure integration within the Data Protection Suite has been enhanced as well as VMware.
“The Hyper-V enhancements give virtual admins control of data protection by adding a plug-in for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager so they can see backups virtually taking place and support their own recoveries,” Emsley said.
The final batch of enhancements to the Data Protection Suite deal with EMC’s Mozy Cloud platform. Previously a Windows platform, it has now been expanded to Linux, and new security capabilities added around encryption, LDAP and compliance. The idea is to increase support for Mozy public clouds in the enterprise.
EMC stresses that the changes to the Data Domain Operating System continue its evolution into the industry’s de-facto open protection storage platform, with the capabilities making it a cornerstone for enabling delivery of data protection as-a-service.
The key here is new multi-tenancy support for cloud deployments, which enable Data Domain systems to deliver secure isolation for large enterprises and service providers and effectively function as a protection storage platform in data protection as-a-service deployments.
“Secure Multitenancy supports management as a service, and allows a Data Domain administrator to carve up a Data Domain environment and provide logical data isolation and administration, which allows it to be used as a service platform,” Emsley said.
“We have also greatly expanded the enterprise application support for the Data Domain platform,” he said. “We had Data Domain Boost for Oracle. Now we are adding four more enterprise Boost applications, for SAP, SAP HANA, SQL Server, and IBM DB2. It’s the empowerment of data owners.”
Archive storage enhancements to Data Domain now include support for billions of files and legal hold for compliance.
“Supporting a billion files in an archive use case enables Data Domain as a platform for all sizes of archiving environments,” Emsley said.
EMC also announced enhancements to its VPLEX virtual private cloud offering. They introduced VPLEX Virtual Edition, which allows deployment of VPLEX as a low-cost virtual appliance, bringing VPLEX continuous availability and data mobility to VMware-centric mid-tier organizations.
“Introducing VPEX for the virtual appliance market delivers the ability to take advantage of VPLEX functionality at a lower cost point, and will open it up to customers who couldn’t invest in physical VPLEX appliances,” Emsley said. “VPLEX supports the world of VNX, which plays through the channel, so this will enable business partners that satisfy smaller customers. VPLEX Virtual Edition will be supported with VNXE.”
The new releases of VPLEX and RecoverPoint also integrate to deliver new MetroPoint topology, an industry-unique, advanced availability plus disaster recovery configuration that provides continuous operations for two data center sites, remote replication to a third site, and the ability to sustain a two site failure.
“For customers that really want VPLEX to provide active active datacenters over distance, VPLEX Metro provides this,” Emsley said. “It adds a third site into the configuration for an unplanned situation where both data centers go offline. It’s for very large enterprises with massive costs of being down.”
All the announced EMC data protection products will be generally available in second quarter of 2014.