EMC Addresses Surging Backup Demands

EMC's latest storage additions to its backup lineup include a refresh of its top-end Data Domain 800 family, a new high-end deduplication solution, and what EMC calls the industry's first long-term retention system for backup and archive. Unveiled on Tuesday, the new systems are part of a series of announcements from the storage powerhouse.

January 18, 2011

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EMC's latest storage additions to its backup lineup include a refresh of its top-end Data Domain 800 family, a new high-end deduplication solution, and what EMC calls the industry's first long-term retention system for backup and archive. Unveiled on Tuesday, the new systems are part of a series of announcements from the storage powerhouse.

Quoting recent Gartner research (User Survey Analysis: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Through 2011, A. Adams, N. Mishra, Oct. 22, 2010), EMC says that over 60 percent of large enterprises will be investing in data archiving or retirement by the end of 2011, and that existing tape and disk-based systems may not have the backup throughput or deduplication capabilities to make a meaningful difference in the way users deal with these challenges concurrently.

EMC says that the Data Domain DD890 and DD860 single controller systems provide up to 8 times the throughput of competing solutions, up to 14.7 and 9.8 terabytes per hour, respectively, and logical capacity of up to 14.2 petabytes and 7.1 petabytes, respectively. EMC has also added native support for the IBM i operating environment to the Data Domain line, enabling network-based disaster recovery and simultaneous protection for IBM i and open systems environments on a single Data Domain system.

The DD890 replaces the DD880, while the DD860 replaces the DD690. EMC says customers with a number of the older DD models can upgrade to the new capabilities just by swapping out the older controllers. Incorporating two of the new DD890 controllers, the EMC Data Domain Global Deduplication Array (GDA) is more than 7 times faster than its dual-controller competitor and now supports the EMC Data Domain Virtual Tape Library software option, which expands the number of supported backup applications, including IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Throughput is up to 26.3 terabytes per hour (7,300MBytes per second), and logical capacity is up to 28.5 petabytes.

EMC says it is breaking new ground with the Data Domain Archiver, bridging the gap between backups retained as archives and the dedicated archive processes. The company acknowledges that tape is not dead but that, increasingly, customers are looking for archiving alternatives, hence the new product.The policy-based DD Archiver offers raw capacity of up to 768 terabytes and 9.8 terabytes per hour throughput. According to David Chapa, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, EMC is definitely raising the bar from a data protection perspective. "Increased performance, increased scale, and extending VTL personality to GDA, I think are all movements in the right direction."

From a data protection perspective, customers always look for bottlenecks in their eco-system and do their best to eliminate as many as possible to speed up their backup performance, Chapa said. "EMC performance improvements help customers quickly eliminate the end point repository as being a potential bottleneck." The GDA provides massive scale and performance in a single namespace and he sees the DD Archiver as a great bridge for customers who have a need/desire to retain data longer but would rather have faster access to it in the event of recovery, over that of tape.

"The DD Archiver can give customers that option, moving data with their backup or archive application into a policy based architecture that can move data from active tier to archive tiers over time. ESG research shows more customers are keeping data on disk longer as a result of deduplication before moving to tape or expiring. What EMC has introduced is a manner by which customers either don't have to move to tape at all, or only after a much more significant period of time, say two years, five years or more. Customers are given more options."

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