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Data backup hardware: 2014 Products of the Year finalists

The finalists in the 2014 Products of the Year backup hardware category are competitive and feature-rich disk systems.

The 10 finalists in the data backup hardware category for the Storage magazine/ 2014 Products of the Year award offer competitive, feature-rich data protection products. Offerings range from a Dell appliance integrated with AppAssure software to Oracle's ZFS-based system optimized for Oracle databases. Many of this year's systems are primed for on-premises storage, the cloud, and physical and virtual environments; however, mature technologies such a disk-to-disk (D2D) backup and support for virtual tape libraries also make an appearance.

Products eligible for the backup hardware category include tape libraries and drives, backup media, disk backup targets, virtual tape libraries, deduplication devices and gateway appliances for cloud backup.

Barracuda Networks Inc. Barracuda Backup 6.0

Barracuda Backup 6.0 is a cloud-integrated system for backing up and protecting physical and virtual environments with unlimited cloud storage and optional local control for private backup needs. The latest version also supports Microsoft Hyper-V VHD browsing to download individual files and folders within Hyper-V VHD/VHDX disk files without mounting the virtual machines (VMs). It has backup agent support for Microsoft SQL 2014 and Microsoft SQL, Exchange and Hyper-V file downloads.

Dell Inc. DL1000 Backup and Recovery Appliance

The DL1000 is factory built on the Dell PowerEdge R220 server and powered by AppAssure software to perform backup, recovery, replication and archiving without the need to invest in more infrastructure. It gives users the ability to automatically send their archive data incrementally to cloud providers such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack and Rackspace. The hardware and software solution provides block-based incremental backups with built-in compression and deduplication. Incremental forever snapshots can be taken up to every 60 minutes, and granular recovery point objectives are allowed. AppAssure's Live Recovery gives users instant access to backup data.

Dell DR6000 Disk Backup Appliance

The enterprise-level DR6000 backup-to-disk appliance is an extension of Dell's DR series product line that has been upgraded with a Rapid CIFS/Rapid NFS application plug-in for faster data ingests from the client server or media server for backup applications using CIFS or NFS. The DR6000 now supports 4 TB hard disk drives on expansion shelves, and provides a federated management capability that uses an integrated console to manage and monitor up to 64 DR appliances within Active Directory. It supports Symantec OST Virtual Synthetic Backups using an OST API for sharing data between images and synthesizing backups directly on the system without the need to read and write from the backup server, which improves latency. The system can scale to support more than 2.7 PB of data, based on a 15:1 dedupe ratio.

EMC Corp. Data Domain DD2200

The entry-level Data Domain 2200 system is optimized for backup, archiving and disaster recovery. This latest appliance in the Data Domain family has new power-loss data protection via persistent RAM, which maintains data in the event of a power loss or system failure. This technology protects in-flight data that is in memory but has not been written to disk. The system scales to 860 TB of logical capacity, reduces storage use by 10 to 30 times through its variable-length deduplication, and has the ability to consolidate workloads onto a single system. It also offers Data Domain Boost software.

ExaGrid Systems Inc. EX21000E Appliance Version 4.7

This disk-based backup appliance uses a disk landing zone and scale-out architecture in which backups are written directly to disk for fast backups that avoid the overhead associated with inline deduplication. Recent backups remain in an un-deduplicated form for fast restores and VM recoveries. The latest system was upgraded with the ability to configure 14 EX21000E appliances in a single scale-out GRID system for 294 TB of full backups, which is double the previous number of 10 appliances with a total of 130 TB of full backups. Its adaptive deduplication performs deduplication and replication in parallel.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) StoreOnce 6500

The StoreOnce 6500 is a D2D backup and restore appliance that scales to 1.7 PB of data with the potential to scale to 34 PB with inline deduplication. The product offers high availability with a failover mechanism between two controllers in a clustered architecture. It can scale up to four pairs, or eight nodes, and runs on HP ProLiant x86 systems.

Oracle Corp. ZFS Storage ZS3-BA

Oracle's ZFS Storage ZS3-BA backup appliance is optimized for Oracle databases, delivering 29 TB per hour backup and up to 40 TB per hour restore with InfiniBand connectivity. The system supports storage integration that includes Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) and the Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol, reduced storage consumption via HCC compression, thin provisioning and built-in data compression.

Quantum Corp. DXi6900 Deduplication Appliance

The midrange- and enterprise-level DXi6900 uses DXi software with StorNext 5 for data-intensive environments and scalability. It supports 4 TB, and self-encrypting drives that provide military-grade security for data at rest and in transit. Each expansion shelf in the system contains 34 TB of usable capacity, with a maximum of six shelves for 510 TB over 7 PB of logical capacity in a 32U footprint. It ships with 17 TB and users can grow the system as needed. It performs replication using variable length and direct integration with Q-Cloud.

Riverbed Technology Inc. SteelStore 3.2 (acquired by NetApp Inc.)

SteelStore 3.2 is a cloud-integrated storage product that accelerates the cloud onramp with deduplication, encryption and data streaming to the cloud. This version offers improved ingest speed, and the ability to manage 28 PB of data in the cloud. Granular utilization reporting and Kerberos authentication for NFS are also included.

Seagate Technology LLC EVault Enterprise Backup and Recovery Appliance

The EVault Enterprise Backup and Recovery Appliance can store as much as 100 TB of usable data. The product has been upgraded with a more flexible architecture so companies can replicate data on-site or to another data center. The appliance supports N:1:1, where the 1:1 vaults are clustered as active/passive vaults and can take over any backup, restore or replication operation. It has also been enhanced with dedupe DD boost and specialized functionality such as application consistency, retention management, bare-metal recovery, encryption, and support for multiple operating systems and applications.

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