Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series


Riverbed Adds Whitewater Capacity, Speed

Cloud backup gateway appliances have10GbE interfaces; VCE unveils new Vblocks; LenovoEMC launches Acronis NAS backup; HP debuts next-generation firewall.

Riverbed Technology added new hardware models to its Whitewater cloud storage appliance line that provide three times the amount of cache space as their predecessors, supporting up to 14.4 petabytes of logical data. They also feature 10GbE networking interfaces.

The 730, 2030 and 3030 model appliances are purpose built for data protection and archiving, the company said, and offer between 8 to 96 TB usable cache capacity. The faster networking interface allows enterprises to transfer to Amazon Glacier cloud storage using Amazon Direct Connect and back up data at a rate of up to 2.5 terabytes per hour, which Riverbed said is a 40% increase over previous models.

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In addition to working with Amazon Glacier, Whitewater works with Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google, EMC Atmos, Savvis and AT&T Synaptic. Whitewater appliances now support Symantec Enterprise Vault and can also be used with backup software from vendors such as Veeam, Tivoli and Quest Software, now owned by Dell.

Riverbed also updated the Whitewater Operating System to include pairwise replication, which allows enterprises to replicate any Whitewater appliance at a secondary location. The new software also has a pinning option, so that companies can tier and choose which backup data sets are available on the Whitewater appliance cache for immediate access, while less critical backup data sets can be recovered from the cloud.

Ashish Nadkarni, research director with IDC's Storage Systems research practice, said the latest updates to Whitewater reaffirm Riverbed's commitment to the product line, which is outside its core business of application performance technologies.

Whitewater allows Riverbed to broaden its customer base, while also meeting the needs of existing customers that are looking to back up data into the cloud and would prefer not to seek out a new vendor, Nadkarni said,

[Read how tough cloud financing models forced cloud storage provider Nirvanix to close its doors in "Nirvanix Killed By Unforgiving Cloud Economics."]

With Whitewater, Riverbed is not competing with storage and backup vendors so much as other cloud gateway vendors, including Nasuni and Panzura, he said.

One of the notable features in the Whitewater update is pairwise replication, which would most likely be used to make a backup of a backup to a secondary location Nadkarni said. That capability, he said, “allows you to protect your data protection.”

VCE Updates Converged Systems

VCE unveiled a number of new products that make up its converged infrastructure, including new Vblock Systems and Vblock Specialized Systems, plus improvements to its VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software.

Vblocks are integrated racks of servers, storage and networking that include EMC storage, Cisco network switches and Cisco Unified Computing System servers, all managed by VMware software. The company said the new Vblock System 340 offers as much as four times the performance and twice the capacity of its predecessor, the Vblock System 300.

VCE's Vblock Specialized System for High Performance Databases, designed for large database deployments, is capable of handling millions of IOPs and scaling to hundreds of terabytes while supporting mixed workloads and multiple database versions, VCE said. Vblock Specialized System for Extreme Applications is intended for use in latency-sensitive environments, such as virtual desktop infrastructures, and includes all-flash technology with inline data reduction.

VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 2.5, software which keeps tabs on Vblock System configuration and health, now includes automated updates of new patches and software releases for Vblock components. It supports native discovery of Vblock Systems within the VMware vCenter Operations Suite.

VCE (Virtual Computing Environments) was formed in late 2009 as a joint venture between Cisco and EMC with investment from VMware and Intel to offer converged infrastructures. Earlier this year, it introduced smaller Vblocks for small and mid-sized organizations. Cisco also participates in a converged data center joint venture with NetApp dubbed FlexPod.

According to a recent report by Technology Business Research, U.S. enterprises will spend more than $3.8 billion in the next 12 months on converged systems, based on a survey of more than 400 IT and line-of-business decision makers at midsize and large enterprises.

LenovoEMC Teams With Acronis

LenovoEMC announced Acronis Backup & Recovery for NAS, which provides automated backup and recovery data protection via device-to-device backup, including server-to-NAS, PC-to-NAS and NAS-to-NAS.

The new software serves as a backup engine for Lenovo EMC px Series NAS products using Acronis technology and is designed to provide automated and fast incremental backup of data to the NAS. It can also protect the data on that NAS by backing it up to another network storage target.

In addition to the new NAS functionality from Acronis, other data protection features of the Lenovo EMC px Series o includes snapshots with VSS, EMC Atmos Cloud Connector, EMC Avamar data deduplication, RAID protection with hot swap drives, UPS support, integrated McAfee VirusScan, user quotas, and device-to-device data replication for business continuity. It also supports Active Directory remote access.

LenovoEMC is a joint venture formed between Lenovo and EMC late last year that incorporates the former Iomega network storage product business.

HP Joins Next-Gen Firewall Crowd

HP introduced new security products and services for enterprises this week, including the TippingPoint next-generation firewall. The appliance, available in five different models, is IPv6 ready and supports IPSec site-to-site and client-to-site VPN connectivity.

Networking features include link aggregation, OSPF, RIP, BGP and multi-cast dynamic routing, and VLAN support. They also include integrated user-based policy for Active Directory, LDAP or RADIUS authentication services.

The landscape for next-generation firewalls is a crowded one. Barracuda recently introduced two firewalls for smaller enterprises; last month, Check Point Software released Check Point R77, the latest version of its software blade architecture, which includes its next-gen firewall. In its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Firewalls, Gartner placed HP in the crowded niche players quadrant along with Barracuda. The research firm identified Check Point as a leader, along with Palo Alto Networks.

Other security products and services HP announced include HP Threat Central, a community-sourced security intelligence platform, and HP SureStart, a technology that automatically restores a system’s PC BIOS to its previously state if attacked or corrupted. SureStart is part of HP's BIOSphere firmware ecosystem that automates data protection.

[Find out whether security can coexist with operational efficiency in Michele Chubirka's (aka Mrs. Y) session "Beware the Firewall, My Son! The Jaws That Bite, the Claws That Catch!" at Interop New York Sept. 30-Oct. 4.]



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