Data Domain's DD880 - Not SMB Backup

Face it all the other makers of VTLs and other disk based backup targets are a little jealous of Data Domain. With their mindshare in the dedupe space, and $2.1 billion of EMC's dollars, who wouldn't be. In the past they've tried to paint Data Domain as an SMB player, too small and too slow to be taken seriously in the enterprise data center. Now that the DD880 can suck up over 50TB of data during a 12 hour backup window it's getting harder to make the SMB label stick.

Howard Marks

July 21, 2009

2 Min Read
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Face it all the other makers of VTLs and other disk basedbackup targets are a little jealous of Data Domain. With their mindshare in thededupe space, and $2.1 billion of EMC's dollars, who wouldn't be.  In the past they've tried to paint DataDomain as an SMB player, too small and too slow to be taken seriously in theenterprise data center.  Now that the DD880can suck up over 50TB of data during a 12 hour backup window it's gettingharder to make the SMB label stick.

With performance like that even the classic "We dedupe postprocess so we can optimize backup performance" line starts to sound a bit likespin especially when you consider that the DD880 is faster than any single node VTL on themarket even when those VTLs aren't deduping. You'd need 2 or 3 Sepaton orFalconstor nodes to match the ingest and dedupe speed of a DD880 and more if you'rebacking up 30 TB over 8 or more hours a night and want last night's backups tofinish deduping before tonight's backups start.

As with any performance claims conditions apply.  Data Domains boxes are optimized for NetBackupusing the Symantec's proprietary Open Storage Technology (OST) API over 10GbpsEthernet and backing up multiple streams simultaneously.  Add in that these figures are based on manufacturer'sperformance claims, since I haven't had these devices in the DeepStorage labsfor a few years, but if we assume that all vendors spin their numbers to aboutthe same degree the DD880 is still pretty impressive.

DD880s can be expanded to 71TB (net after RAID 6) of disk somost users should be able to pack a petabyte of more of backup data on it userswith more data that want to use DD's appliances will have to break their dataup across multiple appliances, and therefore multiple deduplication domains, asData Domain unlike Sepation and Falconstor can't build a clustered system withglobal data deduplication.Even more interesting is that Data Domain has another performancejump in their back pockets.  DD's systemsare compute bound with bigger and faster systems coming down the pike as theyadopt faster processors and bigger RAM sizes to hold the hash index inmemory.  While the DD880 is a four socketXeon design it's not using the latest and greatest Xeon 5500 Nehalem processorswhich should give DD another performance boost when they come out of DD'sskunkworks. Now if EMC can convince Cisco to sell then the UCS motherboards thatcan hold 384GB of memory...

We can still argue about how restoring from a deduped datastore makes sequential I/O into random I/O and how much that slows down largerestores from Data Domain boxes where some others keep the last backupintact.  Me I'd rather restore a 3TBOracle database from a snapshot than a backup making the point somewhat lessimportant.

Yes a select few other vendors can build bigger, and evenfaster, backup repositories but the DD880 should be big enough to take the SMBmoniker of Data Domain.

About the Author(s)

Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

Howard Marks</strong>&nbsp;is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.</p><p>He has been a frequent contributor to <em>Network Computing</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>InformationWeek</em>&nbsp;since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of&nbsp;<em>Networking Windows</em>&nbsp;and co-author of&nbsp;<em>Windows NT Unleashed</em>&nbsp;(Sams).</p><p>He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.&nbsp; You can find the podcast at: http://www.deepstorage.net/NEW/GBoS

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