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EMC Launches Storage Automation

EMC made a move Tuesday to automate its storage infrastructure across its three primary storage platforms by launching its long-rumored fully automated storage tiering (FAST) technology. Available immediately, FAST automates the movement of data on enterprise flash drives and SATA disk drives.

The storage powerhouse estimated the new technology will cut storage acquisition costs by at least 20% and trim storage operation expenses by 40%.

The new solution is available now for EMC's Symmetrix, Clarion, and Celerra families; additional phases of the technology will begin to be deployed next year.

"Automated storage tiering removes a large burden from IT administrators," said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. "The sheer number of combinations of applications, servers, network connections, and storage capacity found in virtual data centers makes it almost impossible to efficiently manage such a dynamic environment manually."

EMC said FAST will be the company's foundation solution for integrating its storage efficiency and automation capabilities.

The new automated approach works to take advantage of the growing use of enterprise flash drives, which can boost application performance by as much as 800% for active data while still exploiting the cost benefits of inexpensive high capacity SATA drives.

EMC noted that the FAST technology utilizes several different features to carry out its cost efficiencies including sub-LUN tiering, capacity allocation on demand, block and file level de-duplication, data compression, disk drive spin down, built-in archiving, and private and public cloud federation.

Michael Montoya, business CIO in EMC's internal IT unit, noted that the company has run FAST on a company beta site using its Symmetrix V-Max system. He said, "We've reduced our energy costs, data center footprint, and operational efficiency, enabling our administrators to each manage significantly more information than they were able to when tiering processes were all manual."