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EMC is releasing software enhancements that increase virtual storage efficiency, automation and management simplicity for its most popular storage line.

The EMC Celerra Plug-Ins for VMware Environments benefits include: reducing virtual machine storage capacity requirements by up to 50-percent through thin provisioning, deduplication and improved management; accelerating the cloning of virtual machine data two-to-three times faster than existing solutions using the processing power of the Celerra systems. The tool also automates the failback process for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager software in NFS environments, which EMC calls unique to the industry.

The company reported a solid Q4 at the end of January, with storage revenues up 16 percent sequentially, boosted by Symmetrix (up 13 percent) and CLARiiON (up 15 percent). But the Celerra NAS business posted its 11th consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year revenue growth, with Q4 revenues up more than 50 percent.

"In Q3, we were number one in the market with 46 percent share according to IDC, and given our outstanding performance, it is pretty clear we gained share again in Q4," said CFO David Goulden during the recent earnings call.

Mark Sorenson, senior vice president of EMC Unified Storage Division, says the company is focused on simplifying the management of both physical and virtual infrastructures.

"These innovations contribute to EMC Celerra’s position as a market leader… (and extend EMC’s) position as the leading storage infrastructure provider with software for the industry’s fastest growing unified storage solution tailored for VMware environments."

According to a statement from Hatem Naguib, vice president of alliances at VMware, "These new capabilities from EMC greatly increase the ease-of-use and resource optimization for mutual customers, integrating with VMware vSphere through common deployment interfaces. Now VMware administrators have enhanced control to reduce storage consumption, maintain service levels for performance-sensitive applications, and simplify storage management and data recovery tasks."

Virtualization and storage featured in three of the four emerging multibillion dollar markets CEO Joe Tucci identified as double-digit market growth opportunities for EMC. The first and largest billion-dollar plus opportunity is helping customers transform their current data centers into fully virtualized fully automated dynamic flexible data centers where applications workflows are truly policy and service level driven, while significantly lowering total costs, as much as 40 percent lower than today’s data center environments. The third mega-opportunity is around virtualizing client devices. And the fourth massive billion-dollar plus opportunity is for EMC to lead customers to the next generation of backup recovery and archive solutions.

"We size this market at approximately $10 billion in 2010. It is extremely fragmented with EMC being a market leader. The opportunity here stems from the continuing sea of data that customers need to better manage and protect, the attributes of automated tier storage coupled with the best of data de-duplication technologies are the keys to success here. We are absolutely accelerating the move to up backup and recovery from tapes to disk."