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ExaGrid deduplication appliances add performance, reduce footprint

ExaGrid upgrades most of its EX data deduplication appliances with more powerful processors and shrinks footprint in hopes of appealing to enterprise customers.

ExaGrid Systems Inc. is trying to make a move into larger organizations with recent upgrades to its EX series of deduplication appliances that improve performance and reduce footprint and power consumption.

Using a combination of improved Intel Xeon Quad Core processors and memory, ExaGrid claims its EX1000 and EX2000 upgraded models have 25% to 40% faster data ingest rates compared to the previous models, while EX5000 models have improved performance by 160%.

The deduplication appliances also have a smaller rack-space foot print. The EX1000, EX2000, EX3000 and EX4000 have gone from a 3U rack-space size to a 2U size. The EX5000 remains at 3U size. ExaGrid ugraded all its backup systems except the largest, the 4u EX10000E.

ExaGrid also enhanced its deduplication software in October by launching DeltaZone, a new dedupe algorithm that lets customers use a generic byte-level deduplication as well as content-aware byte-level dedupe..

Although ExaGrid has sold its dedupe appliances in the midrange and small- to medium-sized business (SMB) space, Gartner research vice president Dave Russell said the performance and other recent enhancements could bring them into the enterprise. Russell said power and cooling issues are more pressing concerns to larger organizations.

"I generally don't see the midmarket concerned with power and space. Large enterprises are more concerned with space," he said. "The real take way is they are bringing more choice and that is a positive."

Bill Hobbib, vice president of marketing at ExaGrid, said that while the performance and footprint have improved, the capacity on each of the models remains the same as the previous ones. Raw capacity ranges from 4 TB on the EX1000 to 12 TB on the EX5000. With dedupe, ExaGrid claims it can back up from 20 TB on the EX1000 to 80 TB on the EX5000. ExaGrid data deduplication appliances perform post-processing deduplication.

"You are able to back up a lot of data in a small capacity," Hobbib said. "The data lands on the disk and it is fully protected. This way you can restore it right away."

ExaGrid competes mostly with EMC Data Domain, Quantum Corp. DXi Series and NEC HydaStor deduplication appliances.


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