Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

In a mini-barrage of announcements, EMC has tweaked a number of its product portfolios, including Symmetrix V-Max, Captiva, Retrospect and Data Protection Advisor.

According to Charles King, Principal Analyst, Pund-IT, the most important aspect of these announcements is that they illustrate the breadth of EMCs efforts across multiple markets and channels, and the company’s ability to address disparate customer concerns.

EMC claims to be the first to offer native 8Gb/s host connectivity for both mainframe and open systems environments with the latest enhancements to its high-end storage array, the Symmetrix V-Max, delivering a 2X increase in available I/O.  In addition, EMC Virtual Provisioning for Symmetrix V-Max systems has been improved with new capabilities, including zero space reclamation, thick-to-thin and thin-to-thick support for EMC TimeFinder/Clone software, and automated rebalancing of Virtual Provisioning storage pools as additional capacity is added. Customers can reclaim up-to 40-percent of their allocated capacity when converting to Virtual Provisioning, while leveraging Virtual Provisioning inherent wide striping to improve performance and freeing capacity for future requirements.

EMC has also released several other Symmetrix V-Max system enhancements that help reduce acquisition, implementation and operational costs. These include new high-capacity Symmetrix V-Max system configurations built around 2 and 4 engines and software compression for EMC SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) traffic over both Fibre Channel and native Gigabit Ethernet connections. Symmetrix V-Max now offers the ability to securely erase Flash Drives automatically prior to a drive replacement to protect the security of data. All software enhancements, configurations and the new 8Gb/s connectivity are available immediately on EMC Symmetrix V-Max.

Also new is an upgrade to EMC’s Retrospect backup and recovery for SMBs. Available immediately, EMC Retrospect 7.7 adds several new capabilities, including integration with VMware Consolidated Backup, which allows Retrospect to perform off-host backups of active virtual machines. Other new features include complete protection for computers running Microsoft Windows 7, a new Retrospect Emergency Recovery CD for quick disaster recovery of Windows servers and PCs, wake-on-LAN technology for improved energy conservation, and full support for 64-bit processors and operating systems.   

King says the Retrospect and Symmetrix announcements are aimed at different ends of the market, and highlight the degree to which virtualization has become a game changing technology in datacenters of every size. "That has been a boon to EMC’s storage business – the company has estimated that it sells storage into some 70% of VMware’s enterprise clients. Further, EMC has stated that it plans to optimize all of its products and solutions for virtualized environments.
These new Retrospect and Symmetrix solutions are just the latest examples of that overarching strategy."

The company also announced a new graphical design tool to create and configure capture processes without any coding required for its Captiva InputAccel intelligent capture solution. The InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer tool provides a drag-and-drop development environment enabling customers to rapidly build document capture processes in just a few hours, at a substantially lower cost and with less resource.   

EMC’s Captiva solutions aim to help customers transition entirely to digital records keeping and management by providing tools to digitize paper documents and content, says King. "The new InputAccel CaptureFlow Designer is basically a tool that allows enterprises to easily more create/customize interfaces for capturing paper records for digital conversion. Its benefits primarily revolve around reducing time for development and increased design efficiencies."

Finally, EMC announced new replication support in its Data Protection Advisor software. The latest version expands its monitoring, analysis and reporting capabilities to include replication software, providing a single pane for unified data protection management across backup and replication.

The new release also provides data protection management support for replication software on Symmetrix and CLARiiON storage arrays. It creates a unified graphical map of application clients, arrays, devices and replicas that identifies what is working and where replication gaps exist. And with new support for EMC RecoverPoint Network-Based Replication, customers can now leverage Data Protection Advisor to simplify RecoverPoint monitoring and service level compliance.

The significance of the data protection announcement, says King, is that it focuses light on the increasing importance these processes represent to storage customers. "As companies continue to amass ever larger volumes of data, data back-up and protection are sometimes affected deleteriously, endangering critical business information assets. By unifying the monitoring, analysis and reporting capabilities of its backup and replication technologies, EMC is providing clients a window into these processes and ways to ensure the safety and security of their business information."