EMC announced AppSync at EMCWorld 2012, with shipment in the 4th quarter 2012. This will allow EMC VNX shapshots to be managed in a virtual Microsoft environment, and RecoverPoint to be used to deliver optional replication services.. The initial focus is Micrsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange, and VMware environments, using the Microsoft VSS APIs to allow application-consistent snapshots and restores. Application owners will be able to create application consistent bookmarks by using RecoverPoint local and remote replication services. For example, a Microsoft exchange administrator can then create, mount and validate a full exchange backup every two hours, and restore databases or single items such as mailboxes. In virtual environments, VMware administrators can protect and restore data from vCenter using the EMC AppSync VSI plug-in.
AppSync is designed to allow end-users to self-select data protection plans based on the VNX snapshots and RecoverPoint-based synchronous or asynchronous replication to other sites. Wikibon expects AppSync to be expanded over time to include both additional Microsoft environments such as SharePoint, as well as Oracle databases.
Wikibon has written extensively on how snapshot technologies are revolutionizing data protection practices in the data center. By taking space-efficient snapshots of just the delta changes, the minimum amount of data is collected and replicated remotely, allowing far more efficient and effective protection management. AppSync together with the VNX and RecoverPoint technologies (see Footnote 1 below), is a good initial response by EMC to enable their customers to adopt this important trend.
During EMCworld, the "Cube" interviewed Rick Walsworth of EMC about the introduction of AppSync (see Footnote 2 below).
Action Item: This announcement is good news for VNX users supporting VMware virtual environments and allows EMC and its channel partners to compete more effectively against the mature SnapManager offerings from NetApp. EMC customers should be expecting EMC to expand the number of hypervisor environments supported by AppSync, expand the applications supported, and extend this technology to other EMC arrays. This could then potentially provide a single snapshot and replication management point for EMC storage arrays. It would be nirvana for data center administrators if it also included management of snapshots from other vendors and provided or linked to a catalog of snapshots across the data center.
At the same time, EMC announced support for RecoverPoint on EMC block storage with its integration with the VMAX family running Enginuity 5876, in addition to its support on VNX. RecoverPoint provides local continuous data protection and continuous local and remote replication of data with any-point-in-time data recovery. When combined with Axxana's Phoenix System® RP technology, it provides a true RPO zero environment at asynchronous distances with much reduced costs compared with conventional approaches.
Cube video of discussion of EMC AppSync with Rick Walsworth of EMC and Dave Vellante/David Floyer of Wikibon