EMC Adds Flash, De-Dupe to Expanded Celerra Lineup

New systems include data de-duplication and compression, compliance and file retention, and support for enterprise flash drives

February 24, 2009

3 Min Read
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EMC rolled out a new lineup of its midrange Celerra storage systems today, adding a series of new capabilities to optimize storage in VMware environments, support for enterprise flash drives, an in-the-box archiving system with file retention, and data de-duplication and compression features designed to improve storage efficiency.

The Celerra portfolio now includes the NS-120, NS-480, NS-960, and NS-G8 Gateways, which offer NAS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel connectivity. The usable IP storage capacity ranges from up to 64 TB on the one- or two-blade NS-120 to up to 896 TB on the eight-blade NS-G8 gateway. Prices start in the $35,000-$40,000 range and can move into six figures, depending on which system and how much storage capacity is purchased.

EMC is adding data de-duplication and compression to Celerra at no extra charge to reduce primary file systems and user data in VMware and other virtualized environments, using technology from EMC's Avamar and RecoverPoint to compress inactive files and then remove duplicates. Integrated into Celerra Manager, it offers automated policy control and can cut filesystems by up to 50 percent, the company says.

The company also extended its support for enterprise flash drives (EFD) to the Celerra, which is one of the first NAS systems to be able to take advantage of the high-performance systems. EMC says EFDs can improve performance 800 percent compared to Fibre channel drives and are 98 percent more energy efficient.

To aid in recovery, EMC added a VMware vCenter plug-in to work with VMware Site Recovery Manager Automated Failback when customers need to return to the original virtual infrastructure. It also uses another plug-in -- VMware View Storage Integration -- to provision virtual desktops. EMC says using VMware View and Celerra de-duplication capabilities can produce the highest storage efficiency for both boot and user data."We've also added a write-once, read-many capability that lets customers lock down files, and we're offering an optional compliance module that lets you add more security to comply with SEC and other regulations," says Peter Thayer, senior director of marketing at the multi-protocol group at EMC.

Thayer says the data compression and de-duplication features will let customers make better use of the storage they already have and let some avoid buying more capacity. "We're trying to help them use their storage more efficiently," he says.

Uli Betzler, a senior storage architect at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, a university and research center in Germany, has been testing the de-duplication and compression features and says he has achieved data reduction of 25 percent to 30 percent. "That was more than I expected," he told Byte and Switch. KIT has been using Celerra systems for years to support Exchange clients as well as VMware, NFS, and iSCSI systems. He said he saw reduction in both large and small files and an overall performance improvement. "Many of our students have a lot of very small files -- lectures and lessons -- so I wasn't expecting a lot. It has been easy to use and the price is right. It is included in the enterprise license."

The upgrades will better position Celerra to compete with systems from NetApp and IBM, among others, says David Hill, a principal of the Mesabi Group, an industry research and consulting firm. "They've doubled the capacity of the systems and added support for flash drives for users who need that extra oomph in performance," he says. The addition of data de-duplication and compression and the other features makes that "an important upgrade that should appeal to customers looking for a mid-range system."

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