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EMC launches thin-provisioning solution

After watching other companies move in first, EMC has finally launched thin provisioning for its mainstream storage systems
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Written by Colin Barker on

EMC on Tuesday launched thin provisioning for its mainstream storage systems, the Symmetrix DMX-4 series. The company sees it as a way to "simplify and speed both virtual and physical provisioning".

The company has dubbed the thin-provisioning solution "Virtual Provisioning". It will work across all Symmetrix storage, including the latest flash storage drives also announced by EMC on Tuesday, as well as storage drives mounted internally and externally.

Thin provisioning is already available from a number of companies including Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), HP (which offers the HDS solution), 3PAR and others. When companies introduce new applications to a network, the system will allocate resources such as memory to the new application but, for safety's sake, most managers allocate more than enough.

Thin provisioning means spare resources are used, leading to systems that are less prone to waste. Companies find that, using thin provisioning, they can save as much as 50 percent — or even more — of the disk space they need to use.

Using thin provisioning, systems managers are able to allocate space "just in time" and use only as much as they need. EMC Virtual Provisioning supports remote and local replication operations, support for Virtual-to-Virtual (thin-to-thin) replication for remote replication software, and EMC TimeFinder replication software, the company said.

EMC also announced support for the 1TB Sata II disk drives on Symmetrix DMX-4 systems, where they had previously supported only drives of 500GB or less.

EMC did not release a set price for thin provisioning, which will depend on the storage used. All the new features announced today will be available and priced separately, EMC said. Support for one terabyte Sata II disk drives is scheduled to be made available at a later date, during this quarter.

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