Abrevity FileData Classifier 2.7

Backup hardware

Gold Award:

Data Domain DD690 Deduplication Storage System

For storage pros charged with backup, data growth remains the biggest challenge. Given the implications exploding capacity has on the cost of storage and energy, management best practices, staffing considerations and even data center floor space, users tell us that data deduplication has become a core value proposition when it comes to backup hardware products. But users also say data deduplication vendors will have to push the scalability and performance of their products to keep up with their data growth.

Data Domain Inc.'s data deduplication products have achieved the broadest acceptance, with the company boasting more than 2,900 customers to date. The DD690 continues the company's scaling approach, which follows the curve of the commodity processor market; the DD690 adds quad-core processors along with 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections. The company's Stream Informed Segment Layout (SISL) architecture means throughput performance isn't dependent on disk I/O availability, so the throughput of Data Domain systems increases with each Intel processor performance improvement, according to the company.

Thus the DD690 boosts the single-stream throughput of Data Domain's dedupe to 600 GB per hour. The DD690 can be configured as a DDX array (up to 16 DD690 controllers in 20U of rackspace) to deliver up to 22 TB per hour of aggregate throughput and 28 petabytes (PBs) of usable capacity. One of our judges calls it "an evolutionary advance for Data Domain."

The DD690's flexibility adds to its appeal. It supports both virtual tape library (VTL) and NAS interfaces, as well as multiple, simultaneous protocols, including Ethernet and Fibre Channel. NAS for disk backup is gaining popularity, most notably among small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which was one of the hottest storage markets in 2008. The NAS interface and enhanced performance also mean the DD690 can be used for nearline or secondary storage, rather than strictly for backup; Data Domain's Retention Lock software also allows it to be used for compliance archiving.

In addition, Data Domain's system addresses some of the other key storage issues facing storage managers this year, including disaster recovery, wide-area networking (WAN), and storage for remote and branch offices. Data Domain offers distance replication software that takes advantage of the data reduction to reduce bandwidth consumption when sending data over a WAN, and the boosted capacity of the box means the fully configured DDX version can support up to 60 remote sites.

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