EMC adds new software, hardware for Celerra File Server

EMC released new storage hardware for its Celerra File Server on Wednesday, and expanded the software and support capabilities of the high-end network attached storage (NAS) system.

NAS devices are specialised servers designed to store files used for applications on other computing devices. The Celerra File Server is a gatekeeper device, transferring files to and from an array of EMC's Symettrix storage servers, said Mike O'Malley, an EMC spokesman.

Celerra is typically most useful for businesses that need to manage large amounts of data, requiring dozens of network connections and tens of thousands of operations per second, O'Malley said. Celerra is also used for systems where large amounts of stored data cannot be out of reach for long periods of time because of network delays or maintenance intervals, he said. Financial services companies, telecommunication carriers and e-commerce vendors are three such examples.

EMC's new Data Mover 510 clustered servers are placed inside the Celerra File Server box to increase data transfer capacity and the number of simultaneous connections that can be made between a Celerra and other devices. EMC claims that Celerra can now handle up to 52 terabytes of attached storage, deliver 200,000 operations per second, and support up to 224 direct network connections.

"This is very, very high-end stuff," said John Webster, a senior analyst for research firm Illuminata. A Celerra NAS is priced at about $US200,000 before adding consulting and storage capacity costs.

EMC also expanded its support for the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP), an open standard architecture for moving data from a disk to a tape server. The Celerra now supports the older Unix-based NFS (Network File System), the newer CIFS (Common Internet File System) for Windows clients and multiple protocol environments, as well as EMC's own Concurrent Copy Backup software.

EMC has pre-tested NDMP-based backup system support for EMC's Data Manager, CommVault Systems' Galaxy, Legato Systems' Networker, Veritas's NetBackup and Atempo's TimeNavigator.

Celerra will also offer native support for Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system, including support for Windows Active Directory, LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), MMC (Microsoft Management Console) and Kerberos authentication.

"Windows has its own approach to a file system, to security," O'Malley said. "A user can use the Windows management console without having to fiddle with new software, and most Windows NT users will move to Windows 2000 this year."

In addition, the company added a configuration wizard to its Celerra software to make it easier for network managers to automatically set up a new Celerra NAS. EMC will also offer data migration services to network managers who want to convert their current storage systems to Celerra NAS.

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