EMC Open Replicator for Symmetrix, which runs on the Symmetrix DMX series of networked storage systems, allows organizations to replicate and recover data between storage systems from EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi Data Systems. The system also provides the capability to replicate the entire LUN (logical unit number) or just parts of it, either synchronously or asynchronously.
Primary uses are for data mobility, remote data vaulting and data migration, although the software also can be used to refresh remote volumes by sending incremental changes and to migrate volumes to the DMX on demand, allowing applications to be brought online before the entire data set has been relocated, according to the company.
Along with Open Replicator for Symmetrix, EMC introduced other replication solutions. EMC SRDF/Star is a three-site business-continuity solution allowing customers to replicate data over unlimited distances among three data centers, while EMC SRDF Mode Change lets users switch between real-time synchronous replication and near-real-time asynchronous replication on demand.
While other vendors have had the ability to feed multiple sites, the toolsets ability to change targets on failure without an interruption and to switch communication modes is noteworthy, said Mike Kahn, managing director at the Clipper Group Inc. in Wellesley, Mass.
"An example might be a bank in New York City with remote data centers in Newark and South Dakota," Kahn said. "Synchronous replication is done from New York City to Newark, and asynchronous replication is done from New York City to South Dakota. If Newark goes offline, New York City could switch primary replication to South Dakota without a data-replication hiccup and could switch to synchronous communications if they had the communications capacity.
EMC also announced SRDF with VMware, which customers can use to create "virtual servers" at remote sites, each with access to real-time replicas of the Symmetrix production data; and TimeFinder/Clone, which allows users to make as many as 16 copies of data simultaneously using RAID5 protection.
EMCs primary competitors in the replication arena include Hitachi Data Systems and IBM. HDS introduced Tagmastore Universal Storage Platform (USP) last month, a follow-on to the companys high-end Lightning storage array. Meanwhile, IBM is about to introduce a revision of its Shark array—a competing solution—within days.
"This is a contest of leaping frogs, so someone is always in the lead in one aspect or another," Kahn said.
In other EMC news, the company reportedly is weighing a buyout offer for Dantz Development Corp. of Walnut Creek, Calif., which sells backup software for SMBs (small to midsize businesses). Dantz Retrospect backs up and restores files, folders and application settings on a variety of hardware platform.