EMC is looking to tread on IBM's toes after extending its virtual tape library (VTL) to cater for Big Blue's mainframe community.

The EMC Disk Library for Mainframe (EMC DLm) is a 'tapeless' virtual tape library system made for IBM's zSeries mainframes. EMC says DLm will offer "high-performance disk-based backup and recovery, batch processing and storage."

Previously, EMC had brought in FalconStor's VTL products, but in September 2006 the storage giant concluded that VTL technology was important enough to own, and it went out and purchased the VTL assets of Neartek.

Soon after in October 2006, EMC unveiled three new virtual tape products, and in May 2007 EMC introduced an enterprise-class VTL. Now EMC has moved the game upwards into the mainframe arena, where it will compete with the likes of IBM and Sun Microsystems.

The EMC DLm uses 1 terabyte (TB) SATA II disk drives with RAID 6 protection. It comes in two configurations, namely with either two or four virtual tape emulators. It can scale to offer approximately a half petabyte (or 500TB) of compressed storage capacity while delivering clock speeds of up to 600Mbit/s. This, claims EMC, allows DLm to offer "33 percent greater throughput than competing mainframe VTLs."

It connects directly to IBM zSeries mainframes using FICON or ESCON channels, and appears to the mainframe operating system as standard IBM tape drives.

There is no word of pricing yet, although DLm is only expected to be made available in March.

EMC could not provide a spokesman at the time of writing.

EMC also announced that it is to update its continuous data protection product, RecoverPoint.

RecoverPoint 3.0 has an upgraded graphical user interface (GUI), and has improved its connections to EMC's Clariion systems. It has also has added some more options to its concurrent local and remote (CLR) data replication bundle.