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SonicWall CDP appliances get new data management, dedupe features

SonicWall CDP appliances now have centralized policy-driven data management and the ability to dedupe data on clients before moving it to its continuous data protection appliance.

SonicWall upgraded its continuous data protection (CDP) appliances this week, adding centralized policy-based data management and client-side data deduplication with the firmware upgrade. SonicWall CDP 6.0 runs on the same hardware as the previous version, but SonicWall executives said the improvements could help the larger systems scale beyond their traditional small- to medium-sized business (SMB) customer base.

The CDP appliances now use the same SonicWall Global Management System (GMS) that manages SonicWall’s line of security appliances.

Ken Dang, product manager for SonicWall’s CDP products, said the GMS integration gives administrators more flexible policies. They can set backup control rules and decide what data can be restored by end users or how many versions of a file to keep, and give users greater control over those features.

SonicWall CDP 6 also moved its dedupe process onto agents instead of deduping on the appliance. Patrick Sweeney, SonicWall’s VP of product management, said this speeds the movement of data from remote sites because less data gets transferred. Previously, full files were moved to the appliance before deduplication was performed.

“The process of moving a file is I/O intensive,” he said. “We get a lot better performance by only moving blocks that change.”

Unlike vendors who include CDP in their backup software applications, SonicWall delivers it on a dedicated appliance. SonicWall CDP includes four models. The 210 and 220 are desktop models for small or remote offices. The 5040B is a 1U model with four internal drives and 6 TB capacity, and the 6080B is a 2U system with four or eight internal drives for 6 TB or 12 TB capacity. Pricing ranges from $2,000 for the 210 to $15,000 for the 6060B.

Kimberly Yatchak, systems administrator at Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Kent Beverage Company, said her company began using SonicWall CDP 6080B and 5040B models last March and recently upgraded to version 6. She said Kent still uses a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. MSL tape device with Symantec Corp. Backup Exec software and does some backups to an HP MSA SAN, but said, “I like CDP for restoring purposes. It lets me restore to disk quickly.”

She uses SonicWall to back up large SQL files for the company’s main database as well as Exchange.

“We back up very large SQL files for our main database,” Yatchak said. “To copy those files across our network is a nightmare. CDP lets me restore that to disk quickly instead of waiting an entire day for a backup to succeed.”

As for restores, she said, “I don’t have to use it for that much, but I like knowing I have it there.”

Yatchak said the GMS and agent dedupe result in noticeable performance gains. “There was more overhead on the server before,” she said. “I also have more ability to configure the system through the GUI now.”

Now she said she would like SonicWall to add the ability to push agents to clients from the device without having to load them on each device to back up. She said Backup Exec lets her pass remote agents though its management console. “I’d like to deploy it [CDP] to users without having to physically be there to do it,” she said.

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