Data Domain rolls out speedier midrange data deduplication box

With quad-core processors, Data Domain says its DD660 midrange system can deduplicate data at a rate of up to 2 TB an hour.

Data Domain today launched a new midrange data deduplication device based on quad-core processors, which the vendor says gives it a significant performance boost over its dual-core processor systems.

The DD660 is Data Domain's second quad-core system, following the enterprise DD690 that was rolled out last year. Data Domain claims the DD660 can dedupe data at up to 2 TB an hour, or at 550 MBps. That's more than twice as fast as the DD580 that the DD660 will eventually replace.

The DD660 base model includes 12 TB in a 2U rackmount chassis, and scales to 36 TB of raw capacity with expansion shelves. Like the Data Domain DD690 quad-core enterprise system launched last year, the DD660 supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet as well as network-attached storage (NAS), CIFS, Symantec Corp. NetBackup OST or virtual tape library (VTL) interfaces.

"We're riding the CPU wave and not being spindle bound," Data Domain VP of marketing Beth White said of the speed increase from quad-core processors.

The DD660 launch comes three weeks after Data Domain upgraded its operating system to increase the speed of all its systems.

Taneja Group analyst Eric Burgener said the performance boost is especially important for inline deduplication devices. Inline deduplication is simpler to schedule and manage and requires less disk to carry out the dedupe process, but takes a performance hit because it eliminates redundant data before moving it off to disk.

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However, Burgener said while inline dedupe boxes could cause a bottleneck when they worked in the 200 MBps range, they're way beyond that now. Besides Data Domain's DD660 and DD690 -- which dedupes at 750 MBps -- IBM/Diligent's VTL can dedupe at 900 MBps with two nodes clustered.

"They have a midrange box here at more than 500 megabytes a second. Not a lot of backup workloads are going to be able to outrun that," Burgener said of the DD660. "It's a rare application that's going to be impacted when trying to run backups at that speed."

Carlos Ramos, executive director of IT and security for Princeton, N.J.-based DNA-testing services firm Orchid Cellmark, Inc., says he tested a DD660 for three months and found it a steep improvement over the dual-core DD560.

"From where we can tell, compared to the 560, it has at least twice performance capability and the storage capacity doubles," Ramos said.

Ramos, whose firm has nine Data Domain boxes for offices in the U.S. and U.K., said the DD660 does copy jobs in about half the time as the DD560 and has done some jobs in one-fourth the time. He said with dedupe, he can store about 30 TB of data on less than 1 TB of physical space for a 44-1 dedupe ratio. Orchid Cellmark gets an average dedupe ratio of 32-1 with the DD560, Ramos said.

Ramos said he hopes to upgrade to a DD660 when he gets budget approval. "We weren't anticipating upgrading because the 560 still works, but the 660 makes it so much easier," said Ramos, whose only complaints about Data Domain's appliances are with the GUI and reporting tools.

Analysts say despite the performance increase, Data Domain will eventually have to support global dedupe to gain a foothold in enterprise shops. Global dedupe works across nodes, while local dedupe stores files separately on different nodes. Data Domain supports local dedupe, which works well enough for most midrange shops but can be found lacking for enterprise workloads.

"Global dedupe needs to be on their roadmap if they're going after the enterprise," Burgener said of Data Domain.

Pricing for the DD660 begins at $130,000 for the base system.

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