EMC, HP Zero in on Fast Backup

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-04-05

EMC Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. are each readying disk-based storage alternatives that the companies said will meet demands for faster backup and recovery of data at a price lower than traditional disk arrays.

At the Storage Networking World conference in Phoenix this week, EMC will introduce its Clariion Disk Library, which is designed to back up live data and retrieve it easily and quickly in case of a system failure. The company is positioning the library against less expensive but slower tape libraries, which are ordinarily relegated for use only as archival storage devices.

The disk libraries will come in two models, the DL700 and DL300, which can consolidate as many as 256 tape drives at speeds up to 425M bps, said EMC officials in Hopkinton, Mass. Both libraries are based on the Clariion CX Series of disk arrays and will be available this week priced $109,000 to $450,000.

Despite a significantly higher cost, disk-based backup benefits are outpacing traditional tape backup returns, analysts say.

According to a report to be released this week by Meta Group Inc., of Stamford, Conn., 60 to 70 percent of storage management effort is devoted to backup and recovery. In addition, the report says 15 percent of a storage administrators time is spent on recovery operations.

Dan Backer, who uses Clariion disk arrays sold through Dell Inc., said he would like to see vendors integrate backup hardware more closely with active data storage arrays because it would enable the active data array to operate faster. "Capacity and your window for backup time keep getting smaller and smaller," said Backer, enterprise systems manager at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington. "Our customer data in many ways is priceless, and we want to make sure we get everything up to the minute if theres an outage."

Also at the conference, HP will introduce its hybrid disk drive technology called FATA (Fiber Attached Technology Adapted), which the company developed with Seagate Technology LLC. The disks are designed to be a lower-cost alternative to current disk technologies and could be used in backup and active data installations.

FATA disks will first appear in HPs StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array product family by July and will deliver capacities of up to 250GB and transfer rates of 2G bps via Fibre Channel, said HP officials in Palo Alto, Calif.

Check out eWEEK.coms Storage Center at http://storage.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and business storage hardware and software.

Be sure to add our eWEEK.com developer and Web services news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

Rocket Fuel