EMC to give deduplication market a Boost

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) took a slight detour from overtly hyping the private cloud on Tuesday to unveil new software aimed at increasing deduplication speed on Data Domain storage systems.

The software, called EMC Data Domain Boost, will move the work traditionally done on the DD deduplication storage itself and shift the process to the backup server. EMC said DD Boost is based on an open storage protocol from Symantec Corp.

“We’re turbo charging the throughput of our systems,” said Frank Slootman, the former CEO of Data Domain who currently heads EMC’s backup and recovery systems division. He added that customers would be able to boost backup and deduplication speeds by up to 50 per cent.

The company also promised less overall I/O impact to backup servers due to fewer copy requests, as well as less backup LAN bandwidth strain because systems are only forwarding over unique, compressed segments. The concept is that cutting out data copy overhead will reduce the load on backup LANs and servers.

Slootman said the announcement is another step in changing traditional storage protocols – such as network-attached storage and virtual tape libraries – from a principal storage vehicle to a fallback plan.

But EMC did note that while DD Boost optimizes the backup process, it does not provide any help to the restore process.

The news came on day two of its EMC World 2010 conference – a show that has been incredibly focused on helping sell private clouds to customers. The theme of the show was echoed by CEO Joe Tucci, who told audiences during his opening keynote that tomorrow’s enterprise IT landscape will feature “thousands of private clouds” working together with a smattering of public cloud providers.

Guy Chapman, senior engineer for storage and virtual infrastructure at SunGard Financial Systems LLC, was impressed with the announcement and it’s potential ability to cut down on backup complexity.

“I like that the plug-in is addressing operations concerns like bandwidth usage,”he said.

Andrew Fuss, manager of technology and engineering for Providence, R.I.-based CharterCARE Health Partners, said he had gotten used to a “26 hour” work day while working with tape. He added that utilizing DD Boost with EMC’s NetWorker should solve a number of issues related to management and backup speed.

DD Boost software is immediately available to use with Symantec Corp.’s NetBackup or Backup Exec products. EMC also plans to release the software for use on EMC NetWorker in the second half of 2010.

Rounding out EMC’s day two storage announcements, the company announced a slew of new midrange storage updates set to hit the market in July and also aimed at helping move midrange customers into the private cloud.EMC’s Clariion and Celerra storage systems will see the addition of EMC’s Fully Automated Tiering (FAST) technology – software that automates the movement and placement of data across storage resources as needed. The storage systems will gain caching and data compression features through EMC FAST Cache and will now have the ability to automatically move data between various storage tiers during application workload spikes.In addition to enabling automated policies, the changes will also help storage admins make better use of Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs).“This is all about the software that controls these tiers and makes them seamless,” said Rich Napolitano, president of EMC’s unified storage group.The EMC storage systems will also include support for VMWare vStorage APIs, which is a move aimed at virtual machine storage support.

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