News

UPDATE - EMC reveals new backup lineup AND document management plans

Simon Sharwood

EMC has announced a raft of new backup products at its EMC World 2008 conference Las Vegas, with a return to the midmarket backup software market a highlight.

The return to this market comes in the form of a new version of the NetWorker backup software tailored for smaller businesses. The new product is also tailored to unsettle Symantec and CommVault.

"The perception is that NetWorker is for the larger enterprise customer," EMC Australia's Shane Moore told searchstorage.com.au. "Now it is easier,wizard driven and pricing very attractive." "We are trying to grow market share."

The company has also announced new backup hardware.

Leading the way is the new EMC Disk Library 3D 1500 and 3000, two devices intended to reside on the LAN of a remote office and supplement tape backups. Both machines also pack data de-duplication, to shrink the amount of disk space required and therefore reduce administration overheads for smaller offices. Waugh told searchstorage.com.au that he believes the devices, which store up to 36TB and 148TB respectively and will sell from $AUD40,000, will be an alternative to daily tape backups for smaller businesses and remote offices.

Another new product is the EMC Disk Library 4000, a virtual tape library that can spin down its disks to save power. There's also a green angle for the enhancements to the company's Avamar de-duplication software, which is said to save power by reducing the number of disks required to store a business' data.

UPDATE
 

Later at the event, Mark Lewis, content management and archiving division president, divulged updates to the Documentum portfolio due in the third and fourth quarters of this year. Those plans include a Documentum Archive product that will consolidate data archives from multiple applications, including email, files and databases.

Lewis calls the Documentum Archive product "the next evolution of EmailXtender," although DiskXtender will remain as a connector between file servers and the archive. EMC will also use its existing application archiving modules for applications like SAP as connectors to the archive. Another feature for Documentum due out in the third quarter will allow federated retention services, applying policies to multiple data repositories both inside and outside Documentum.

In the fourth quarter, according to Lewis, email archiving will get another update through a project code-named Janus, which he described as "next-generation email archiving" for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. "For the first time, we're not going to be selling email archiving as a standalone product," he said. New applications and interfaces planned for Documentum in the third quarter, including new collaboration and social networking software, will have "day one" compatibility with the archive, he added.

EMC also plans to use a startup it acquired, called X-Hive, to bring XML encapsulation and eventually Web-based access to SaaS repositories to archive data. "We will either archive data directly in XML format or put it in schemas and store it within an XML environment," Lewis said. "This will add more structure to unstructured data and make it more easily searchable."

According to analyst Brian Babineau with the Enterprise Strategy Group, the additional flexibility in the archive could also boost processing power. "It requires significant processing to get content into repositories very quickly," he said. "A broader repository might be able to more efficiently handle archiving workloads."

Analyst Andrew Reichman, Forrester Research, added that Documentum Archive could easily lend itself to automated information lifecycle management (ILM) processes based on metadata that Documentum generates about files. "That software level is the place where you can successfully do ILM," he said. "At the block level, it's harder. Frequency of access is an inference about the usefulness of data, but Documentum policy flags could be more granular and accurate."

Reichman expects application vendors to take more of an application-centric approach to data management. "I see a shift of more storage control to the application," he said. "It will be interesting to see if EMC gets out in front of that as a software company, or if, as a storage company, they'll be a laggard."