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EMC Turns Up the Volume

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is finally putting products where its mouth has been. After claiming for years that it wants a piece of the open software market, the company announced today that it is enhancing its PowerPath software to include integrated volume management with multivendor array support (see EMC Intros Volume Manager).

The announcement shows that EMC is serious about taking on Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) in one of Veritas's core strongholds: volume management block. According to a recent Gartner Inc. report, Veritas holds a 71.8 percent share of the volume manager market (see Gartner: Veritas Leads in SMS).

Veritas, however, says it isnt worried. "EMC’s playing catchup here on basic fundamentals," says Marty Ward, the company’s director of product marketing. Veritas, he says, has been offering both integrated volume manager software and data mobility for more than a decade. "This is a complete validation of what we’ve been doing for about a dozen years," he says. "This is something we’ve done since time began in this space."

EMC insists that while the new PowerPath software enhancement may be labeled volume management, it is actually bringing the technology to the next level. Chris Gahagan, EMC’s senior VP of infrastructure software, says that the feature is in fact end-to-end data path management, purpose-built for storage networks. “It’s a leapfrog into network storage,” he says.

The new version of its PowerPath software will feature what EMC calls the first "network-aware" volume manager in the industry. The software, the company says, can automatically detect the expansion of hardware-based volumes, and, without disruption, resizes the associated virtual volume groups to use the free space. In addition, it imports mirrored data copies to the same host for backup, restore, and repurposing activities. It sets policies to optimize disk resources, and provides I/O performance statistics.

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