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EMC Amps Up Its Mainframe Disk Libraries


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EMC has announced the next generation of Disk Library for Mainframe (DLm) systems, designed to deliver twice the scalability of the previous generation, with support for up to 11.4 PB of logical capacity and up to 80% faster performance. EMC's DLm 8100 and DLm 2100 systems are enabled by an enhanced virtual tape engine and eight new Gb/s FICON adapters.

“We are more than four times faster than our closest competitor,” Jim O’Connor, director of product marketing for EMC's Backup and Recovery systems, said in an interview. “You can back up with a competitor’s product for an hour and we can probably do it in 15 minutes. It does become significant when you are trying to meet batch windows.”

In the backup world, organizations traditionally had to trade off a fast backup with a slow restore or a slow back up with a faster restore, because they had to pre-configure everything, said O’Connor. “With the Disk Library for Mainframe and any of the virtual tape systems, you don’t have to do that trade off. We load it up as fast as we can to back it up, and then we transmit data to the secondary site and you are up and ready to go.”

The DLm8100, engineered for large enterprises, offers up to 16 FICON connections and support for VMAX, VNX, or Data Domain storage platforms. The DLm2100, intended for small-to-medium sized environments, offers from one to four FICON connections and support for VNX or Data Domain storage – and when configured with Data Domain protection storage, can be shared between mainframes and open system servers.

“The 8100 is very high end, very enterprise, targeted at banks, financial institutions, insurance companies,” said O’Connor. “The 2100 is intended for use by companies that may not be smaller, but may have smaller mainframe requirements, such as a hospital, for example, where only accounts receivable might running on the mainframe.” He adds that the 2100 system supports more than 700MB/s of throughput.

The high-end 8100 boasts up close to 5GB/s throughput, and scales up to 11.4 PB logical storage, noted O’Connor. “The beauty of the 8100 is that we can combine both VNX and Data Domain storage in the same system. We do a detailed tape study when we go into an environment and we can tailor a solution to the specific requirements of that installation. Flexibility is provided with VMAX, VNX, or Data Domain, or a combination of Data Domain and VNX.”

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