EMC offers deduplication, thin provisioning for VWware on Celerra

New plug-ins are free with current maintenance agreements

EMC has announced an upgrade to the management software on its Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) arrays that will allow administrators to apply deduplication, thin provisioning and business continuity tools to data stored in VMware environments. EMC's new Celerra Plug-Ins for VMware Environments adds several new capabilities, including an automated failback process for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager software. When one offsite Celerra array fails, it automatically fails over to another Celerra array -- either at the same site or in the primary data center.

EMC had previously been offering the upgrades for Fibre Channel and iSCSI storage area networks (SANs), but it is now offering those capabilities for NFS [Network File System protocol] environments, too.

Brad Bunce, director of unified storage marketing for EMC, said the free upgrades also allow storage deduplication for individual virtual machines, reducing the amount of storage required on Celerra arrays supporing them by as much as 50%.

"When you deploy VMware over Celerra an administrator can select which machines should be configured in compressed mode and which should run in full-sized mode," Bunce said. "The greater flexibility is that a VMware administrator can also selectively uncompress VMware data stores as well."

The new plug-ins also allow for thin provisioning -- the ability to add storage capacity as an application requires it -- as well as data cloning, or data snap shots of virtual data stores on Celerra, Bunce said. "People like to do clones of virtual machines for tests," he said. "So when you want to deploy a thousand new virtual machines through cloning..., that's a couple of hours of time saved."

The plug-ins also automate the failback process for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager software in NFS environments, which is unique to the industry.

The EMC Celerra Plug-Ins for VMware Environments are available for download to EMC Celerra customers with current maintenance arrangements. All enhancements are available from EMC, Dell and its authorized partners.

In addition, customers leveraging the new Celerra software can work with EMC Global Services to accelerate their VMware deployments with EMC's end-to-end consulting, implementation, residency and education services.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld . Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Knowledge Center.

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