EMC has introduced a whole raft of information lifecycle management (ILM) products and strengthened the role of its Celerra NAS product.

It is creating an ILM product infrastructure and claims 30 ILM product or service announcements so far this year. These latest apply to Symmetrix/DMX replication applications, secondary storage file moving and e-mail consolidation.

A new product called Celerra FileMover moves files to/from Centera (content-addressed storage), CLARiiON arrays, Celerra NAS and optical and tape devices, according to a customer's wishes. Celera FileMover has an API which Legato DiskXtender for Celerra can use. Third party software such as products from Veritas and Arkivio also use the API and other EMC partner products are expected to be on the list.

The idea is to match storage attributes with the needs of the files and the business. Over time, a file's value changes and it may need to be accessed less often. So it can be moved to less expensive storage and slower storage freeing up more costly space for more often-accessed files. All file movement is carried out through a Celerra NAS system which functions as a secondary storage hub in EMC's ILM world.

EMC separates the file-moving data from the actual file itself. A database is made up of records and metadata spread across various files and folders. You can't simply move a file, because you render the database unusable. Instead, the data destined for a different tier of storage has to be extracted in such a way that the database structure is unaffected and the data can still be accessed. This requires database-aware ILM software. Similarly with e-mail folders where a string of emails, replies and attachments needs to be preserved.

Celerra FileMover is foundation file moving software. EMC's application-aware ILM software is, naturally, e-mail application-specific. It is improving Legato EmailXtender with additional Exchange 2003 support, better search functions and faster access to archived e-mail messages. The software's main function is to consolidate individual users' .pst mail folders into a central archive while preserving the look and feel of individual folders. It supports Notes, Domino, Exchange, Unix SendMail, Bloomberg Mail and Instant Messaging.

EmailXtender automatically stores and archives all email and attachments into an Enterprise Message Center. It is integrated with Legato DiskXtender and so can make use of Celerra FileMover capabilities to spread the email archive out across the best secondary storage tiers.

There are also four replication announcements:-

  • EMC Open Relicator for Symmetrix moves data to/from EMC, IBM, HP and Hitachi Data Systems high-end arrays.
  • EMC SRDF/Star provides replication between three remote data centres. If one crashes then the remaining two keep replicating.
  • EMC SRDF Mode Change lets users change from real time to asynchronous replication if they wish.
  • EMC mainframe replication features are equivalent to IBM capabilities - EMC has licensed the IBM software.

These replication improvements focus on duplicating data to better protect it at the Symmetrix/DMX level and do not involve CLARiiON or other secondary storage media.

What EMC has done is to improve its ILM functionality in three separate areas to solve different ILM problems. In so doing it has strengthened the role of its Celerra NAS to make it an ILM integration box.