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Iomega sneaks Avamar onto ix12 array

Unannounced feature

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Iomega is showing its new ix12 unified storage array at EMC World and it has an Avamar agent loaded on it.

Stephen Foskett, a consultant attending the event, saw the Avamar logo on the ix12's screen when attending a demo and found out that EMC's Avamar group had not yet qualified the ix12 agent as a valid client.

Avamar is EMC's source reduplication offering. An Iomega spokesperson said that users would select data to be backed up on the ix12's disk drives, the Avamar agent would dedupe the data and send the resulting shrunken data set to a central Avamar server - when the Avamar server is qualified to support the ix12.

Avamar stand staff said their agents do not run directly on storage arrays. They run in servers fronting an array and require an operating system such as Windows or a Unix or Linux variant to host the agent. No problem for Iomega - its ix12 controller has an Intel Core Duo processor running EMC LifeLine software, which is built on Samba Linux, and that means Iomega potentially has deduplication working directly on the array.

Our understanding is that the Avamar organisation inside EMC's Backup and Recovery business unit will support Iomega's Avamar agent in due course.

A second technology demo on the Iomega stand was the use of an Atmos storage facility as cloud storage. LifeLine presents cloud storage capacity like local storage and you would use LifeLine's copy-job utility for backing up to the Atmos cloud.

The ix12 is a low-end, small/office/home office/small business array with substantial software credentials. Its coming ability to reduplicate backup data and store data in an Atmos cloud suggest that other array vendors punting products into the same market will have to raise their game, and that means Buffalo, La Cie, Overland's Snap Server, Dell's low-end PowerVaults, and others.

After all, if Iomega has put Avamar into one of its arrays it can add it to others. ®

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