EMC adds virtual machine management to Clariion arrays

Updates from EMC enable remote replication, recovery of virtual machines

EMC Corp. today introduced new virtualization-aware capabilities for its Clariion CX4 midrange networked storage systems, which make CX4 software and disaster recovery applications aware of connected virtual machines.

The company also announced the availability of native 10Gbit/sec. Ethernet connectivity for the Clariion CX4 arrays, which will boost the bandwidth used to support virtual server environments and iSCSI, or Internet SCSI, storage architectures.

Ruya Atac-Barrett, director of Clariion product marketing at EMC, said the upgrade to 10Gbit/sec. Ethernet would be seamless for current Clariion CX4 owners. Those users can simply swap out the 1Gbit/sec. cards now in the CX4 for the new 10Gbit/sec. models.

The array will automatically discover the new card, much like PCs discover USB-enabled devices. "This is a plug-and-play feature," Atac-Barrett said.

Atac-Barrett said that storage administrators managing Clariion arrays today cannot see how connected virtual servers affect performance. In fact, in a recent survey. 70 per cent of VMware users said it was "really hard" to manage virtual machines through storage interfaces, she said, adding that "20 per cent said it was so hard they wanted to poke their own eyes out."

EMC said it has integrated VMware's vCenter application programming interfaces with its Navisphere Manager software, which allows administrators to see virtual machines attached to their storage resources.

By integrating the Navisphere Manager with VMware's vCenter API, storage administrators can now identify the root cause of virtual machine performance problems as well as optimize capacity utilization by using two screens instead of 200.

For example, Atac-Barrett said that the software automatically discovers and maintains the relationships between the logical machines and physical machines.

The company also announced that it has integrated its RecoverPoint data recovery application and Replication Manager software, which provides instant image-level recovery of virtual machines.

The integration allows storage managers to replicate virtual machine instances to remote disaster recovery and business continuity facilities; it also enables point-and-click recovery of virtual machines, EMC said.

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