It seems that Data Domain's product takes traditional tape backup and turns it upside down. From the little I have seen of it, it looks like the next step beyond VTLs. It changes the backup paradigm. What are your thoughts on this?
Data Domain definitely has had and continues to have tremendous impact on the way backups are done. That said, one of the products strengths is that it actually does not really change the backup paradigm; in fact, its integration is pretty much transparent to most leading
software. We went from storing backup data on tape to storing it on virtual tapes (VTL). As long as it feels and looks like tape, the backup software does not see the difference. So, having Data Domain interface with backup software like a VTL was therefore easy.
The real gains are realized when looking at what Data Domain does in the background. The deduplication of stored byte sequences is where the technology shines. This dramatically reduces the amount of storage required for backups and reduces (if not eliminates) tape dependency. The next major benefit is the technologys ability to replicate this reduced data footprint across the WAN to practically eliminate the need for traditional offsite storage. In my opinion, these two components are the big game changers for backups. We have seen and will definitely see more vendors introduce their version of deduplication.
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