EMC adds Avatar backup technology to VMware

De-duplication tools cut backup data totals and media footprint for virtual machines

Retooling its backup and recovery processes to keep pace with the fast track growth of virtualized server environments, EMC on Thursday introduced the Avamar Virtual Edition for VMware and pre-packaged EMC Avamar Data Storage System offerings.

Based on technology gained by EMC from its 2006 purchase of Avamar Technologies, Virtual Edition for VMware Infrastructure enables de-duplication across multiple instances on VMware ESX Server hosts, the company said. The product will ship in November.

By enabling disk-to-disk backup and replication between virtual machines (or from virtual machine to physical Avamar backup servers), companies running VMware can use the new offering to slash their reliance on physical tape-based backup operations and off-site data movement, said Mark Sorenson, senior VP of Infrastructure Management Software at EMC.

Greg Tinnell, Storage Management manager at Louisville, Ky-based Brown-Forman, is running an Avamar backup system that is used to backup data from about 42 remote domestic and international facilities. However, he noted that it can't be used in selected facilities due to bandwidth issues.

"Our hope is that we can deploy the Avamar Virtual Edition for VMWware server" to solve that problem, Tinnell said.

He said he expects the by running Avamar backup software on a VMWare server, Brown-Forman should be able to deploy disk-to-disk backups among all remote offices without having to buy additional hardware. The bandwidth constraints should also be remedied by the de-duplication technology in the new tool, he added.

Virtual Edition supports all VMware backup modes including Guest, ESX Service Console and VMware Consolidate Backup, and can support up to 1TB of de-duplicated backup capacity, Sorensen said. The technology is well-suited to remote and branch offices or small data centers which have installed VMware, he added.

Currently available, EMC Avamar Data Store is a line of pre-packaged appliances that incorporate Avamar backup software and EMC hardware. The appliances aim to simplify backup/recovery and de-duplication within a virtualized infrastructure, EMC said.

The Avamar Data Store model is a set of expandable cabinets which climb from 4 nodes to 16 nodes, with each two node expansion adding the equivalent of 70TB of traditional backup storage, Sorenson said.

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