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Data storage systems: 2016 Products of the Year finalists

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2016 data backup hardware Products of the Year finalists

This year's seven data backup hardware finalists for Products of the Year feature built-in new software capabilities to improve backup and recovery and are becoming cloud-compatible.

The data backup hardware finalists for the Storage magazine/SearchStorage 2016 Products of the Year go beyond simple disk appliances for data protection. The seven data backup hardware finalists include appliances with sophisticated software integrated, and systems for disaster recovery. These data backup hardware finalists represent modern data protection, encompassing data on-premises, at DR sites and in public and private clouds.

Actifio Virtual Data Pipeline

The Actifio Virtual Data Pipeline 7.0 includes copy virtualization software that decouples data from storage and makes a gold copy of the production application data to create point-in-time virtual copies. The latest version of the appliance includes enhancements such as a new StreamSnap replication for offsite recovery point objective that is under an hour. The new Actifio OnVault does backups in the native application (block) format for long-term retention in the object storage-based public cloud or private cloud.

Barracuda Networks Backup 6.3

Barracuda Backup 6.3 boasts faster backup and recovery speeds to Barracuda Backup appliances. The Barracuda Backup 990 appliance was upgraded to support 48 TB of usable storage, a 33% increase from the previous version. Barracuda also introduced multi-streaming in the 6.3 version, which complements recovery options for physical-to-physical systems, physical-to-virtual systems and virtual-to-virtual configurations.

NetApp AltaVault 4.2

The NetApp AltaVault 4.2 appliances, which are file-based data deduplication storage devices, support SMB, NFS or Veritas OST connectivity to back up applications and cloud storage connectivity to various cloud providers. The 4.2 version offers customers inline deduplication and compression for up to 30-to-one data reduction ratios. The newest branch office model is a 2 TB virtual appliance that can be deployed on the Linux KVM hypervisor and supports 27 clouds.

Quantum Corp. DXi6900-S

The Quantum DXi6900-S deduplication appliance uses 8 TB hard disk drives to deliver 50% more density, scaling to 544 usable TB in an 18U rack. It uses Dynamic Disk pooling for faster rebuilds compared to traditional RAID 6 and it integrates solid state drives (SSDs) for metadata storage access to speed up ingest rates, reads, replication and space reclamation performance. The system is powered by the StorNext File System and the newest software feature targets large enterprises by integrating Oracle RMAN.

Quorum OnQ 3.9

The Quorum OnQ 3.9 is a high availability and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) appliance that offers access to 400 GB NVME caching for faster backups and recovery. The new architecture also enables instant recovery to any snapshot held within the appliance and offers encryption at rest and compression across the appliance. The NVME cache allows for 25,000 IOPS on nearline SAS drives and gives OnQ the ability to start up any protected server from any point in time, in the time it takes to boot.

Unitrends Recovery Series Appliances 9.0

The Unitrends Recovery Series Backup Appliances 9.0 includes tiered flash storage to improve backup performance and faster restores. The new adaptive data deduplication optimizes storage capacity and it is included at no cost so customers do not have to purchase a separate deduplication appliance. The appliances also offer "recovery assurance" for physical Microsoft Windows hardware.

Western Digital HGST Active Archive Systems SA-1000

The HGST Active Archive System is a turnkey Amazon S3-compliant, scale-out object storage system for long-term data retention. The HGST Active Archive System starts at 672 TB raw storage in a single rack and can scale up to 28 PB of total capacity in a single site or across three data centers in a single namespace. The BitSpread technology erasure coding distributes data reliably and BitDynamics enables self-healing through advanced error checking and repair.

Next Steps

Data backup hardware product finalists: 2015 Products of the Year

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Essential Guide

Data storage systems: 2016 Products of the Year finalists

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What are the most significant factors in making a backup hardware purchase decision?
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In my opinion three huge factors. 

1. Do you have allocated Storage available.
2. How much data are they currently protecting.
3. What do they want to do for DR  
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By the way I love this article!
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I agree with Wjpope

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What type of data are you trying to protect?
The type of data can significantly dictate the type and cost of backup hardware required.  Structured data typically reduplicates very well (provided it's not encrypted or already deduplicated).  Non-structured or encrypted data should avoid deduplication - consider workflow based, tiered storage solutions that utilises tape as a tier. 

Consider variable block length hardware-based deduplication. They perform much better than file-based and fixed block length deduplication.

What backup software are you using? And what are your retention policies?

What is the rate of change of your data?

Consider replication to alternate site (or Cloud) to off-site backup data.  If it's Cloud, do you have constraints regarding data sovereignty?
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