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Dell pries open shrunken PowerVault, crams whole lotta disk inside

DR4000 gets Symantec OpenStorage API

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In between the deluge of flash-driven, cloud-driven, and virtualisation-driven storage news, humble drive arrays get new features too. Dell has announced that it has provided low-end PowerVault enclosures with more drives than before and boosted its DR4000 disk-to-disk backup array with better replication and Symantec backup software integration.

The PowerVault MD3 delivers 60 3TB, 3.5-inch disk drives in a 4U rack shelf; that's 180TB of raw data. One of these with two 4U expansion boxes can spin up to 180 drives, meaning 540TB of data, accessible over Fibre Channel, iSCSI or SAS. The controller software provides Dynamic Disk Pools which Dell says recover from disk failures faster than traditional RAID Schemes.

Dell says the MD3 array delivers tiering and is suitable for SMBs and for enterprises that need a lot of disk capacity in a small form factor.

The DR4000 is a disk-to-disk backup array using Ocarina-based data reduction technologies. One new feature is the ability to replicate data from many DR4000s to one; the suggested use case is sending backed data from remote and/or branch offices to a central site. The other new feature is the Symantec OpenStorage (OST) API, with Dell claiming it can ingest data at up to 4TB/hour from backup media servers using its DR Rapid Data Access feature.

OST includes an SDK that can be used to build plugins to interface NetBackup and BackupExec with target hardware devices like the DR4000. EMC, Quantum, Sepaton and other D2D and VTL backup array suppliers support it already. With the OST, media servers can pre-prepare and effectively send less data to the target D2D system, sending just the changes to the data, rather than all the data all over again.

The MD3 dense array is available globally this month with the same software, firmware and management features as the MD3 series but taking up less space. The OST-supporting and many-to-one replicating DR4000 will also be available later this month. ®

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