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The Mets' problem was finding the right vendor or combination of vendors. The team's needs involved not only low-cost disk, but deduplication and compression to reduce the overall amount of data to be backed up, as well as WAN optimization/acceleration to speed the replication process. "But by combining too many technologies you risk complicating the solution and introducing potential problems," says Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO Group, Stillwater, MN.
Most of the D2D backup solutions for midsized companies are packaged as virtual tape appliances, notes ESG's Whitehouse. As virtual tape, the backup product can drop right into the existing tape backup environment without disrupting applications and backup software. "Midmarket companies don't want to get sophisticated about backup strategy. They want to do what's easy, and the easiest [thing to do] is to just drop in an appliance," she says.
Working through a VAR, ePlus Technology, Milone narrowed his search to three vendors: Data Domain Inc., EMC Corp. and Quantum. Milone quickly rejected EMC as too costly. Quantum was the Mets' incumbent backup vendor,
| having provided the DLT tape system. Data Domain was the newcomer brought in by ePlus Technology.
The final selection came down to Data Domain and Quantum. Both offered similar products and had deduplication, which Milone by that point considered essential. And each offered comparable pricing.
In the end, the Mets opted for two Data Domain appliances. The DD565 came with 7.5TB (raw) of disk storage and was installed at Shea Stadium. A smaller unit, the DD510, came with 2.25TB (raw) for Sterling. The DD510 lists for $19,000, while the DD565 sells for $95,000. The servers would retain their DAS until the SANs were in place, and Backup Exec would remain the backup software.
Both units feature compression and deduplication, which Milone figures would reduce data volume, on average, at a 25x rate. "In some cases, we've gotten as high as 80x data reduction," he notes.
Vendors bicker about which product delivers the greatest rate of data reduction. "A 20x reduction is pretty common, 50x is reasonable," says ESG's Whitehouse. Beyond that, you need to look carefully at the data and how the vendor is calculating the reduction rate, she advises. Even the length of time the data is retained can impact the reduction rate.
This was first published in March 2008