Data Domain Improves Remote Office Backup

Domain storage platform

Data Domain on Tuesday is unveiling the DD120 remote office solution for tying up to 320 remote sites into a single storage infrastructure, said Brian Biles, vice president of product management for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based de-duplication technology pioneer.

De-duplication, also called "de-dupe," removes duplicate information as data is backed up or archived. It can be done on the file level, where duplicate files are replaced with a marker pointing to one copy of the file, and/or at the sub-file or byte level, where duplicate bytes of data are removed, resulting in a significant decrease in storage capacity requirements.

The DD120 can act as a stand-alone storage device with de-dupe capability, with a throughput of 150 Gbytes per hour and a physical capacity of 750 Gbytes which can store between 7 Tbytes and 18 Tbytes of data after the de-dupe process, Biles said.

A company could also put a DD120 in each of its remote branch offices and tie to a larger Data Domain appliance in a central data center. In this case, the DD120 appliances replicate data to the central office in order to centralize the management of the business' entire data infrastructure, Biles said.

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Scott Robinson, CTO of Datalink, a Minneapolis-based storage solution provider, said the ability to combine de-dupe and replication is important for many of his clients.

"We've been doing a lot of work with remote offices," Robinson said. "This is the next step. It's a nice extension from remote offices to the core office. Customers can use it to do their backups at the remote offices, and replicate the data to the core, and de-dupe it at the same time."

The DD120 represent's a new low-cost version of Data Domain's product line, enabling solution providers to find incremental opportunities with smaller remote offices they may not have been able to touch before, said Keith Norbie, director of the storage division of Nexus Information Systems, a Plymouth, Minn.-based solution provider.

"It's an easy solution," Norbie said. "Just hit the "Easy" button to do backups to the DD120 in the remote office, and then replicate. This holds the backup at that location, and sends a copy to the main office. It gives customers a tapeless backup system that isn't complicated, but that really works."

Data Domain also made a number of enhancements to its software, including the addition of support for the Veritas NetBackup 6.5 Open Storage Software API from Symantec, Cupertino, Calif.

The API allows other vendors' products to pass much of the work involved in managing data to NetBackup 6.5, one of the industry's most popular data protection software applications.

"With the NetBackup API, Symantec has embraced the idea that there are better ways to do backup," Biles said. "So NetBackup lets us handle the backup over the WAN. It does the management, and we do the work. We're the first vendor certified to work with the API."

Interfacing with that NetBackup API will be very important going forward, Robinson said. "NetBackup is evolving from a backup product to becoming a backup console," he said. "Today, a customer might need NetBackup for backing up data, and another product for tape. And they get issues with metadata consistency. Over time, as more functions move to NetBackup, it's important for better management to offload much of the work. Over the next couple years, this will become a big deal."

The DD120 is available starting this week with a price of $12,000, which includes hardware and software replication and three 250-Gbyte hard drives for a total raw capacity of 750 Gbytes.