Dell EMC Debuts Software-Only Version Of Data Domain

Dell EMC is getting out of the gate fast at Dell EMC World with a new software-only version of its flagship Data Domain protection line for Dell PowerEdge servers.

The new Data Domain Virtual Edition can scale up to 96 TB per instance and can be deployed on the VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliance. More broadly, Data Domain has undergone a platform refresh that encompasses new 178-TB, 288-TB, 720-TB and 1-PB units to span from midsize up to very large enterprises.

Dell EMC is also introducing version 6.0 of the Data Domain operating system, which allows customers to back up de-duplicated data to public, private or hybrid clouds; provides secure multitenancy for service providers that offer Data Domain as a service; and offers enterprise grade protection for big data.

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Peter Smails, vice president of product marketing at Dell EMC, said the changes are intended to make Data Domain more flexible for partners and customers.

"We've reset the bar around biggest, fastest, strongest," said Smails. "From a customer standpoint, performance and scalability do matter. It's all about how fast and how much. How fast can you protect my data, and how efficiently can you do it."

The new company also rolled out its first Dell EMC-branded VMAX product. The new offering in the all-flash VMAX line is aimed at midmarket customers demanding lower price points and increased ability to scale.

Dell EMC last week launched the VMAX 250F, a 1-PB, all-flash system that brings EMC's flagship enterprise storage line to midmarket customers. The VMAX 250F starts at less than $100,000 including multicontroller, "always on" capabilities and VMAX services.

"It's all about addressing customers who are asking how do we modernize? How do we transform?" said Smails. "All-flash is one of the pillars of our modern data center strategy, and the 250F is VMAX for everyone. It's bringing the enterprise capabilities of VMAX to the midmarket, expanding the addressable customers that can now get that enterprise-level capability."

The system supports up to 2 V-Bricks, allowing for 11 TB of usable flash, and comes with inline compression and data services. EMC launched the all-flash line of its bread-and-butter VMAX family last February, and partners were enthusiastic about the opportunities it represented, saying demand for flash storage has increased dramatically as drive capacity increases and prices fall.

Stephen Monteros, senior vice president at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif., solution provider, said bringing VMAX into the midmarket makes sense, but it's critical that partners correctly assess how customers are going to deploy it. "In the new all-flash market, there's big demand," he said.

When the all-flash VMAX was launched, EMC said it would move to all-flash for future primary storage solutions. At the same time, Dell brought the VMAX line back to its price sheet.

Last spring, EMC launched its Unity line of all-flash arrays hot on the heels of the release of its VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure lineup. Thus far Unity "is doing exceptionally well," Smails said. Now, Dell EMC is updating the line to optimize for all-flash, cloud integration and mobility.

The improvements include seamless, nondisruptive in-line compression to allow for more density and intelligent wear-leveling to extend the life of SSDs.

Unity is also adding Cloud IQ, a subscription-based service that allows users to proactively monitor the health of their Unity systems. In addition, Unity will now come with file tiering to the cloud to free primary storage space. Smails said Unity can back up to Dell EMC's Virtustream for free, or to either Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.

The company is betting Unity will appeal to existing VNX customers looking to migrate to new Dell EMC offerings. The Unity software gives VNX customers the ability to seamlessly upgrade once they've installed software.