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EMC offers 'continuous protection' to hot 'n' heavy VMAX users

Plus: VNX gets software-only RecoverPoint

Security for virtualized datacentres

EMC has boosted the continuous data protection capability of VMAX, meaning that every change made to the data held in the arrays be recorded and replicated to a remote system. The storage giant's unified file-and-block storage platform VNX will get a software-only version of RecoverPoint, and its data mobility product, VPLEX, will get a VNX frame-based licensing model.

These developments come the week before EMC's great EMC World shindig in the Las Vegas casino hotspots, so there are sure to be much bigger ones coming next week, these being comparatively trivial upgrades.

VMSAX better CDP

Continuous data protection is like taking a snapshot every time there is a data change on an array - and is used for data which the customer absolutely needs to be able to recover to any point in time.

The new VMAX continuous data protection (CDP) comes courtesy of SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) and RecoverPoint. SRDF replicates data from one VMAX to another. RecoverPoint is EMC's CDP appliance technology, based on its acquired Kashya technology. It picks up changed data blocks in an array, via write splitting, journals them, and then sends the changed blocks via SRDF to the remote VMAX.

EMC claims: "VMAX is the only tier 1 storage array offering simultaneous Continuous Data Protection and remote copies on the same LUN," and says users will get data recovery from any point in time once it is operating. Up until now you could use RecoverPoint and SRDF on a VMAX but not on the same volume (LUN).

RecoverPoint v4.0 provides the requisite SRDF integration. It's a release that adds more scalability: "protecting 7X more data , delivers a 4X increase in the number of protected volumes to over 8,000 volumes per cluster, and offers expanded asynchronous throughput by over 60 per cent to 400/sec."

This EMC blog provides more information.

The more affordable CDP is, the easier it is to apply, and this version is also available in software-only form, as a virtual appliance, for VNX arrays with the vRPA option. This means there is no need for the full RecoverPoint appliance, making VNX CDP up to 60 per cent more affordable. It works with the VNX array splitter. EMC claims: "A single vRPA running on 8 vCPUs and 8 GB RAM is good for ~8500 write IOPS and ~80MB/sec throughput."

vRPA

The VPLEX frame-based licensing model for VNX means, EMC says, VNX users can get continuous availability with an up-to 50 per cent lowering of their VPLEX costs.

We understand from the EMC blog mentioned above that RecoverPoint is going to get a per-VM replication model instead of a per-LUN model, which should be better for VMware-using data centres. ®

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