New appliances put squeeze on data

Privately held Data Domain last week rolled out high-end versions of its back-up and recovery system - offerings that exploit compression technology to make backing up data on disk cost competitive as compared with tape, the company says.

By filtering redundant components, the new DD400 appliances and accompanying software can be used to compress data by a factor of 20, the company says.

Because the company's compression algorithm is data-format independent, the back-up images its products create can contain both structured database data and unstructured text files. Typical back-up software such as EMC/Legato NetBackup writes data to the DD400 in an unchanged fashion. As data is stored longer on the appliance, the compression factor will increase because of the amount of redundant data already culled out, Data Domain says.

The offerings, which succeed the 4-year-old company's smaller capacity DD200 appliances, come in three models, ranging in capacity from 15T to 83T bytes. Each model - the DD410, DD430 and DD460 - also has different throughput characteristics. The DD410, for instance, can back up data at 160G byte/hour, compared with the high-end DD460, which can perform at almost twice that - 290G byte/hour.

Ephraim Baron, senior director for IS&T server operations at EFI uses the DD200 and plans to add a DD400 to back up as much as 70T bytes of engineering data.

"We were facing increasing costs of tape backups and the lengthening of the backup window," he says. "The staff I have is pretty senior and I don't want them spending time swapping tapes and getting data packaged to go off-site. Every time I sent management a purchase requisition of US$40,000 worth of tape, they cringed."

With the Data Domain appliance, Baron now can keep data on-site longer.

"We are now keeping three to four months of data online that before would have gone off-site each month," he says. "We're essentially backing up the same data, but we aren't doing it all the time."

The DD400 boxes work with IBM/Tivoli Storage Manager, HP OpenView Data Protector and BakBone Software's NetVault, as well as with Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec, EMC/Legato Networker and CommVault Galaxy.

The DD400 appliances start at US$19,000.

Data Domain has collected US$26.3 million in venture funding, and is backed by Greylock, New Enterprise Associates and Sutter Hill Ventures.

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