EMC has announced upgrades to its data protection offerings that include integration with applications and hypervisor platforms for Avamar and Networker backup products, Data Domain disk backup hardware and VPLEX storage virtualisation software.
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The announcements -- which comprise a number of piecemeal improvements -- came wrapped in the EMC vision of a "data protection continuum" that ranges from backup to archiving for the software-defined datacentre.
Kelly Brown, EMC product marketing director, said: "This is the next iteration of our vision around data protection that is meant as a response to the 'accidental architecture' of silos of backup, archiving, high availability, replication etc."
"We're introducing the concept of a data protection continuum that moves things from backup to a higher-level data protection view, whether the data is on-premises or in the cloud, in fixed or mobile devices."
One way EMC has attempted to do this is to move away from individual backup products and bring them all under the Data Protection Suite. Customers get Networker, Avamar and (backup management platform) Data Protection Advisor and turn on the functions they require according to a capacity-based license model.
When it comes to concrete product changes, enterprise backup product Networker has gained improvements in snapshot management, with integration with EMC's Isilon and VNX arrays plus those from NetApp. Also added in Networker is bidirectional visibility between the storage admin and backup admin views.
Networker also adds integration with Microsoft Hyper-V recovery and management through System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
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In this upgrade the Data Domain operating system (OS) gets multi-tenancy capability and chargeback, tracking and reporting. Data Domain has also seen its file system scale to allow for one million objects.
Meanwhile, EMC's VPLEX storage virtualisation platform gets a Virtual Edition, a software version that integrates with VMware.
VPLEX can now also combine its multi-site high-availability capability with EMC's RecoverPoint remote replication and continuous data protection (CDP) to provide so-called Metro Point topology functionality, which enables disaster recovery over any distance.
EMC's talk around this announcement of a "data protection continuum" is part of its strategic vision that says traditional backup will soon become a thing of the past in a world of "backup-less backup".
EMC bases this prediction in the idea of the "third platform", an IDC characterisation that predicts data storage will move from a fairly predictable collection of arrays and drives to a chaotic and dispersed world of mobile, social media, cloud and big data locations.
The result will be, said EMC storage CEO, David Goulden, an "accidental architecture" that will be countered by, "The Protection Storage Architecture" which will "treat backup, archiving and disaster recovery together under a common storage layer."
So, do this week's announcements bring EMC any closer to this vision?
Brown said: "We still have that vision, and we're bringing data protection admin closer to application admin. With our improvement to the file system in Data Domain, for example, we're moving towards a common platform for backup and archiving there."
She added: "What we're setting up is a shift in how we think about backup; pushing it more towards application owners, enabling accessibility and recoverability by them and shifting to a data protection continuum."