EMC Takes CDP Downmarket

Touts scaled-down versions for SMBs, but CDP still missing for clustered NAS. UPDATED 2/21

February 21, 2007

3 Min Read
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With storage vendors struggling to squeeze additional revenues out of large enterprises, EMC has refocused on smaller firms, today unveiling scaled-down versions of its Clariion hardware and RecoverPoint software for backup, archiving, and CDP. (See Vendors Set Sights on SMB Windfall, EMC Delivers Insignia to SMBs, EMC Eyes SMB Push, and EMC Retrospect Supports Vista.)

RecoverPoint, which EMC acquired when it bought Kashya, supports continuous snapshots, typically seconds apart, as well as full CDP, albeit limited to SAN devices. (See EMC Coughs Up for Kashya.)

Last October, the vendor unveiled an enterprise version of the RecoverPoint software, capable of sharing data across its Clariion devices and SAN products from other vendors. Today, EMC took the wraps off an SMB version of the software, RecoverPoint SE, which only works across Clariion devices, and, at $10,000 per array, is significantly cheaper than the $83,000 enterprise version.

EMC execs refused to say when they are likely to extend this level of functionality to their Celerra NAS devices, although rival NetApp is also dragging its feet in this area. (See Exanet Dips Toe in CDP Pool.) NetApp acquired CDP technology when it bought Alacritus in 2005 but hasn't yet rolled out a full CDP product, although it does support snapshots on its NAS systems. (See NetApp Annexes Alacritus.)

The vendor did not respond to Byte and Switch's request for information on its CDP roadmap, although NetApp is said to be considering rolling out CDP on its VTLs. "We haven't seen [the Alacritus CDP technology] surface yet," says Dianne McAdam, director of enterprise infrastructure at analyst firm The Clipper Group, adding that a CDP/clustered NAS combo would be useful for users. "You're giving them more storage under the same management umbrella."That said, the analyst thinks EMC is at least making the right moves with regard to its SMB push. "Large enterprises are still buying stuff, but the real significant growth is in the SMB market," she explains.

Not surprisingly, these sentiments were echoed by Barry Ader, senior director of storage product marketing at EMC. "Mid-sized enterprises require the same things as larger enterprises but they have less staff and less budget," he said.

The Clariion CX3-10 device, unveiled today, is EMC's attempt to tap into this part of the market. The CX3-10 supports iSCSI and 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel in the same box, as do its larger predecessors. It comes with 60, as opposed to 120, drives, and it features up to four iSCSI and four FC ports. Pricing for the CX3-10 starts at $27,000. In contrast, the product's higher-end predecessor, the CX3-20, sports 120 drives and a price tag of $36,000.

But The Clipper Group's McAdam warns that these prices will still be out of the range of many SMBs. "I don't really see the guys at the low end willing to spend on this type of stuff," she says, adding that there is a big difference in the IT budgets of a 50-person and a 500-person firm.

Certainly, a number of SMBs have already expressed their lack of enthusiasm for supposedly hot technologies such as CDP and other disk-based backup products, citing the difficulty of moving away from tape. (See SMBs Balk at Backup.) At the same time, NAS-plus-iSCSI solutions may offer alternatives in the same or lower price range for handling Exchange and other applications. (See Dell, Microsoft Team on NAS-Plus-iSCSI.)Both the CX3-10 device and the RecoverPoint SE software are available now.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • The Clipper Group Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Network Appliance Inc.

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