Exagrid Grows Dedup Capacities

ExaGrid Systems EX10000E 10TB disk backup and enhanced GRID software allow customers to store a 100TB full backup in a single GRID-based disk-backup system with data deduplication. The EX10000E will be available by the end of October for a base price beginning at $85,900.

October 14, 2009

3 Min Read
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ExaGrid Systems announced its new EX10000E 10TB disk backup system and an upgrade to its GRID software which expands the maximum number of servers in a GRID configuration to 10 (ten).  The new appliance and enhanced GRID software allow customers to store a 100TB full backup in a single GRID-based disk-backup system with data deduplication. The EX10000E will be available by the end of October for a base price beginning at $85,900. For existing customers with active maintenance and support contracts, software upgrades to expand the maximum number of servers in a GRID to 10 servers are no cost.

In addition to the EX10000E's backup capacity, the new system provides high performance by writing to disk at full disk speed (post-processing) and by adding complete servers in a GRID for system expansion, instead of just more disk capacity. This scalable GRID-based approach maintains fast backup performance even as data grows. ExaGrid is also uniquely fast for restore performance as it stores the most recent backup in its complete, non-deduplicated form ready for rapid restoration or tape copies.

They sell to mid-size enterprises, customers have 1 - 100 TB of data to be backed up every night. Smaller data sets than big enterprise. EMC, Data Domain, Quantum are in place. Not in the SMB space with less than a terabyte of data. The user environment is such that they typically have email server, app server, db server, etc. All the data is backed up every night using a backup server running any of a number of packages. They sit behind the backup server to help store all the data.

According to Bill Hobbib, vice president of marketing for Exagrid, many companies today are backing up to tape, even though practically everyone hates tape. A typical potential customer, Hobbib says, may be doing an off-site copy every week. They may move to using Exagrid for on-site backup, then de-duping and backing up off-site once a week. Exagrid lets them store the changed data each day.

"There has been a single controller model that allowed customers to smoothly go to 30 TB or move to 60 TB with a forklift upgrade," he says, adding that, "The Exagrid model is much more scalable."The basic EX10000E discussed by Hobbib is a 10TB appliance, and there's also a 100 TB Grid implementation. The appliance is designed to respect both the speed and physical storage needs of an enterprise data backup implementation Hobbib says, "This box goes at 1.8 TB per hour backup speed, and is a 4U rack-mount unit. There's also the ability to combine up to 10 of these in a grid. Together, these backup at 18 TB per hour."

Hobbib says that the dedup engines used in the EX10000E combine CPU, memory, disk, and Gigabit Ethernet controllers in a single package for deployment. These individual controllers have, he says, been designed from the ground up to act as a member of a grid. "One of our big advantages is that our systems add controllers as they expand capacity, so they don't bring in the bottlenecks at the processor that single-controller implementations have," Hobbib says. While they add controller units, they do have a single logical control panel for all (up to) ten controllers in the grid, according to Hobbib.

Deduplication is growing in importance as storage capacities race ahead of backup systems' capacities and speeds. IT executives looking at the need to back multiple terabytes up during a finite service window (usually at night) have turned to deduplication and storage grid in an attempt to move large data collections very quickly. On the one hand, you'd like storage vendors to develop high-speed backup technologies and methods to enable no-drama backup. On the other, more realistic, hand, deduplication is a currently-available technology that allows real backup for real-world data sets.

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