Compare Deduplication Equipment

I am in the final throws of purchasing a new deduplication backup and disaster recovery solution. We plan to write to a locally hosted device and then replicate to an offsite device. We have narrowed down to a couple backup devices. The players are (alphabetically):

Dell DR4100
EMC DataDomain DD2500
ExaGrid EX10000E
HP StoreOnce 2900
Quantum DXi 4701

What I would like is first hand knowledge of a device and a brief note as to why you selected a particular device over the others and whether you are happy with your decision.

Each of the devices above have unique qualities, but none appear to be hands down far and away the ultimate solution. Price is a factor, but not the limiting factor. I am trying to reduce my backup window and increase my recovery points while reducing my recovery time objective.
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
I've implemented a HP StoreOnce solution a while back, now I have to say this was coupled with the HP backup tool DataProtector, so it was for a backup project, don't know if this makes a difference for you, but full disclosure and all ...

The implementation, hardware wise, was done by HP themselves, so can't really comment on that besides that on paper it wasn't too complicated.

Now, the hands on, the device worked flawlessly, no issues whatsoever, the deduplication is amazing, if you never had the change to witness this first-hand it's awesome to see your storage space being used optimally. The company was able to win back about 68% back from their storage space by using deduplication (on backup alone).

Once the dedup-process was in full effect backup-windows decreased by a minimum of 30% and a maximum (for some) of 75%

The replication of the backups to another StoreOnce located in another country was also painless, the initial sync takes a while but once it's in sync there's not much (none) maintenance. The fact that you can install agents on systems in remote offices that don't have a local backup system and send deduplicated backup to the DataCenter is an added bonus.

The choice for HP was at that time because they were ahead of the game, by now most sellers provide the same devices and features, I guess since the company was already using HP for most of their devices and for the backup software, the choice was easy (and probably a nice price as well since storage was bought along with the dedup devices).

Hope this info can help you somewhat in your decision.

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Heritage02RiderAuthor Commented:
Thank you for that. Very informative.

We also use HP equipment. (switches, servers, SAN)

Regarding the replication; you mentioned a different country. Do you happen to know what kind of a delay you have between locations and what bandwidth you allow for replication? I have about 75 ms between sites at optimum time and can degrade to about >100 ms during business hours. I would replicate after hours obviously. We have 15 Mbps to work with.
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Well, this was about 2 years ago, so things probably changed considerably, for the better also I assume, and I don't work there anymore since the project finished.

I seem to remember they had a link of 10 Mbps ... I also remember that latency isn't as much an issue, the stability of the connection is more important (drops are much worse than slow ping responses so to speak). The StoreOnce system is quite resilient regarding latency, but since you will be doing it after hours there's nothing to worry about... But maybe my memory isn't quite as good as it should be ;)

You can actually set the amount of bandwidth to use for the replication, so that you could (in theory) even do it during office hours.
Heritage02RiderAuthor Commented:
I am awarding the comment on the HP solution, but was disappointed to find that either a) nobody on this site has ever implemented deduplication devices, or b) did not feel open to share their background on  such devices.

I have decided to go with EMC for a few reasons. My expectations were that I wanted to reduce my backup window to a few hours and also be able to replicate offsite somehow. My list of competitors as follows:

EMC DataDomain DD2500
HP StoreOnce 2900
ExaGrid EX10000E
Dell DR4100
Quantum DXi4701

All these devices appear to do ultimately the same thing, however each has their own process by which they get things done.

If I had been deciding solely based on pricing, the Dell was about the cheapest solution. However, they were also provided the smallest amount of storage at 5.4 TB for my expected current 4+ TB backup size. This concerned me and they offered an 9 TB unit for a higher price, putting them near the others in cost, but still cheaper.

Quantum, by everything I read about them had me interested. I liked the pricing, a little more than a Dell, but cheaper than EMC, HP and ExaGrid. They deduplicate on the fly and offered a two piece system, 5 TB and 6 TB add-on. 11 TB was inline with most of the offerings.

I am an HP shop; HP servers, SAN and networking, so obviously I was interested. They offered two 24 TB units with the useable somewhere in the 15 TB range. Lots of space for growth and retention. Price was mid-range. They have integration with Veeam, however, no higher technology at the moment.

ExaGrid and EMC:
Here is where the pieces started to line up and differ. Both EMC and ExaGrid offered up two units, one local and one remote. The EMC is a 14TB useable. The ExaGrid offered dissimilar units, an EX10000E at 20 TB useable and 10 TB full backup and EX5000 at 10 TB useable and 5 TB full backup. The difference here is in the way ExaGrid does deduplication. They write all data to a landing zone and then the data is deduplicated in the background, post writing. Advantages here are the ability to quick boot from the deduplication device. Since deduplication devices are not raw disk NAS, they have to assembly or "rehydrate" the data, so it cannot be accessed directly. All devices other than the ExaGrid would have to rehydrate the data before quick booting. This also allowed the remote device to be smaller since it did not require a landing zone. Replicated data is already deduplicated. However, the remote site would be incapable of quick booting since there is no data in the landing zone. EMC does inline deduplication. The integration with Veeam was kind of my selling point. Both ExaGrid and EMC have integration, I just felt comfortable with the EMC process as well as the equipment longevity. I have had an EMC SAN for 10+ years without a hiccup. SO this was the tipping point.

All-in-all, I think they all would have worked, but seeing as I will not get new money to purchase this type of equipment for a lng time, I needed to buy what will work for a very long time.
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