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Data Domain revs its dedupe engine

Data Domain is bumping up its deduplication speed with an operating system upgrade.

Moving from OS 4.5 to 4.6 will improve the speed of Data Domain systems from 50% to 100% depending on the protocol and network interface, according to the vendor’s VP of product management Brian Biles. The greater speed comes from code tweaks in the OS that lets multi-core CPUs support more parallel streams.

The improvement with OS 4.6 is greatest for systems running 10-Gigabit Ethernet and Symantec’s NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) interface. For instance, max performance for the DD690 – Data Domain’s largest system – goes from 1.4 TB per hour to 2.7 TB per hour for a 90% increase using the new OS, according to Data Domain’s estimates. That’s with 10-GigE and OST.

Is speed all that important for dedupe? Throughput often gets lost in the debate over dedupe ratios and the inline versus post-processing argument, but analysts and customers say speed is a major selling point for dedupe systems. Speed is plays a big role in Data Domain’s inline deduping, which risks slowing backups because it dedupes while backups are taking place.

“Faster equals more data processed, which equals more data reduction,” Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau says. “Performance improvement is a means to other benefits, including storing more data in smaller footprint.”

Rich VanLare, Network Administrator for shopping center developer Regency Centers, has been using a Data Domain DD690 with NetBackup and OST since last October and was blown away by the speed with OS 4.5. VanLare says his goal was to decrease backups to below nine hours, and is down to five hours since replacing tape with the DD690. VanLare says he’ll upgrade to 4.6, but he’s happy with his current system.

“The box is incredibly fast to begin with,” VanLare said. “Personally I don’t need it [improved speed] because it’s already exceeded my expectations.”

VanLare, who claims to get more than 90 percent compression, said the OST option was the main factor he choose Data Domain over VTLs from NetApp and Overland Storage.

“I have a lot of administrators getting into the interface, and I just wanted things to be simple,” he said. “OST tells an administrator exactly what happens if something fails.”

VanLare biggest concern with Data Domain is he won’t be able to add a second box at a DR site until the economy improves. “I wanted to do that this year,” he said. “With budgets as they are, I’m not sure that’s going to be approved.”

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