Data Domain Boosts Throughput With OS Upgrade

New version of operating system takes advantage of multi-core processors to speed backups by 50% to 100%, the company says

March 3, 2009

3 Min Read
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Storage systems vendor Data Domain, perhaps best known for its data de-duplication capabilities, today released a new version of its operating system that it says can boost backup throughput by up to 100 percent on some systems.

Version 4.6 of the operating system, available at no charge to customers with standard support agreements, uses the company's proprietary Stream-Informed Segment Layout, or SISL, to minimize the number of disk lookups needed to speed up throughput, executives said. "Our controllers are based on standard Intel chips and we've tuned the software to take advantage of the multi-core technology," says Brian Biles, vp of product management. "As the CPUs get faster we get faster."

The company says its flagship DD690 with Symantec NetBackup OpenStorage and 10-Gigabit Ethernet can handle 2.7 TB of data an hour, a 90 percent improvement. Its DDS Array can handle 43.2 TB an hour, also a 90 percent increase, while its low-end DD120 boosted performance by 100 percent to 300 GB an hour. Data Domain's other systems, the DD510, DD530, DD565, and DD580, increase throughput by around 50 percent using the new operating system.

The DD690 uses a special plug-in that works with NetBackup Open Storage and a custom protocol over 10-Gigabit Ethernet to take advantage of multi-threading to add an extra performance boost, Biles says. "Our architecture is different than others in that we break up data streams coming into little pieces and see whether we've stored those parts before," he says. "Others in the industry have to look at data on disk while we can store it all in RAM."

Data Domain also has integrated 10-Gigabit Ethernet into the DD690 and can support a variety of NAS protocols, including NFS and CIFS. Biles says it is easier for users to manage a single 10-GigE connection that five 1-Gigabit Ether connections. "We see it as an enabling technology and we are agnostic about the future," he says. "We can support Ethernet or Fibre Channel or VTL over Fibre Channel or 10 Gig Fibre Channel over Ethernet."Biles and Beth White, VP of marketing, say the company has not yet seen any significant slowdown as a result of the poor economy, and they believe Data Domain is well positioned to take advantage of the desire by enterprises to restructure their backup processes and reduce the amount of data stored on systems. "Dedupe and backup redesign and tiered storage are the things they want to spend money on," says White.

Data Domain is among the few tech companies still growing despite the cutbacks in spending on IT, says Brian Babineau, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group. "They have a new operating system that provides a significant performance enhancement," he says. "They can de-dupe faster and that will make it even more difficult for competitors to catch up with them."

Babineau says the use of multi-core processors means Data Domain can offer improved performance every time Intel brings out better or faster chips. "It is a great R&D model," he says. "They just need to continually make sure that their software can take advantage of the faster processor speeds."

While Data Domain's announcement today focused on performance, Babineau says he thinks there are other enhancements in the new version of the operating system that will enable new capabilities down the road. "I think we're going to see a wave of new things coming from them over the next quarter or so," he says.

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