This content is part of the Essential Guide: Best data storage products 2015: Products of the Year

Data backup hardware: 2015 Products of the Year finalists

Data backup hardware finalists for Products of the Year range from traditional backup targets to hybrid cloud storage and object systems.

The data backup hardware category for the Storage magazine/ 2015 Products of the Year had the most entries we've seen in the last five years, with systems tailored for the enterprise and SMBs. Most of the 12 data backup hardware category finalists offer full-feature capabilities for both physical and virtual environments, on-premises and the cloud.

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

Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) 7000 Appliance Series

The Arcserve Unified Data Protection appliances were upgraded with true global source-side deduplication so that data is deduped before transferring to the target. The systems also were enhanced to support agentless backup for VMware and Hyper-V and supports single-pass backup of all VMs without the need to install agents in each VM. The systems perform auto-discovery of VMs on the target hypervisor and are integrated with VMware vStorage APIs, including changed block tracking so that only changed blocks are backed up, and built-in replication with block-based Recovery Point Server to Recovery Point Server replication.

Datto Inc. SIRIS 2

The SIRIS 2 hybrid cloud backup system supports physical-to-virtual conversion, Screenshot Backup Verification and Backup Insights from one interface and the company claims files can be recovered in six seconds. With the latest release, the company upgraded SIRIS 2 to support image-based backups for Linux and Windows systems. It now supports offsite restore capabilities and storage capacity has been expanded to support 40 to 60 TB. The system also was enhanced to support enterprise-level file sync and share.

EMC Data Domain DD9500

EMC Data Domain is the company's flagship data protection system and its DD9500 model protects up to 86.4 PB of data across remote sites and business applications. It has a throughput of up to 58.7 TB per hour and can back up 470 TB in less than eight hours. The device has been upgraded to support Hadoop and NoSQL deployments, Pivotal HD, Cloudera and Hortonworks. Also new in this upgrade is integration with enterprise applications Oracle, SAP, HANA, SQL, IBM DB2 and VMAX3 primary storage.

ExaGrid EX32000E Appliance, Version 4.9

The latest version of the ExaGrid EX32000E backup target appliance has enhanced support for Oracle RMAN channels. Oracle databases of up to 800 TB can be backed up and written to multiple NAS shares across multiple appliances in a GRID configuration. The EX32000E has an ingest rate of 7.56 TB per hour and up to 25 appliances in a single scale-out GRID can ingest 187.5 TB per hour.

HGST Active Archive System SA-7000

HGST's self-contained, scale-out object storage system delivers 4.7 PB of raw storage in a single rack. It supports HGST second-generation HelioSeal 8 TB hard drives and the company partnered with Commvault for software integration.

HP StoreOnce 2900

Most of the 12 data backup hardware category finalists offer full-feature capabilities for both physical and virtual environments, on-premises and the cloud.

The HP StoreOnce 2900 enterprise-class system uses a single federated, converged deduplication platform for remote virtualized environments, regional offices and direct movement from HP 3PAR StoreServ arrays that use StoreOnce Recovery Manager Central. It can scale from 15.5 TB to 31.5 TB within a 2U footprint and protect up to 630 TB of data with a 20-to-1 deduplication ratio. It supports backup speeds up to 5.8 TB an hour and it has a 3.4 TB per hour restore performance. It is also integrated with Oracle RMAN, SAP HANA and SQL.

NEC Corporation HYDRAstor 4.4

The NEC Corporation HYDRAstor 4.4 is the latest version of NEC's scale-out grid storage system for backup, archiving and content repositories that can be configured for up to 4 PB an hour throughput and 100 PB of data in a single system with inline global deduplication. The system was upgraded with Universal Dedupe Transfer that eliminates the need to transfer deduplicated data blocks from applications to HYDRAstor to reduce bandwidth use.

NetApp AltaVault

The NetApp AltaVault hybrid cloud backup system uses inline deduplication and compression for up to 30-to-1 data-reduction ratios and it integrates into customers' existing backup architecture or cloud provider. The system offers end-to-end security for data-at-rest and in-flight using FIPS 140-2 level 1-compliant encryption.  

Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance

The Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance is designed specifically for Oracle Database protection, offloading most of the backup process from production servers. It is tightly integrated with Oracle Recovery Manager and is designed for recovery rather than file retention. It uses an incremental-forever backup architecture and supports cloud-scale data protection and real-time recovery status reports for all the databases. It also supports Database Protection as a Service with policy-based management recovery SLAs by database tier

Quantum Artico NAS Storage Appliance

The Artico NAS system is a high-performance, shared-tiered storage system built on the Quantum StorNext 5 file system software. It balances storage tiers that include tape, object storage and cloud while keeping files accessible. The system is upgraded for collaboration across Linux, Unix, Windows and Mac OS X and it supports Arkivio for seamless data movement from primary storage to Artico.

Unitrends Recovery-Series 936S

The Unitrends Recovery Series 936S purpose-built backup appliance supports up to 73 TB of raw storage in both virtual and physical environments. It uses SSDs as a second layer of read cache for accelerating read requests by copying data from disk to cache for fast reads. The appliance has an integrated operating system and Unitrends 8.2 data protection software that is pre-installed and pre-configured in the appliance.

Veritas Technologies LLC's NetBackup 5330 Appliance

This is the latest iteration of Veritas' NetBackup Appliance for intelligent, end-to-end deduplicaton for physical and virtual environments. The NetBackup 5330 enterprise system expands to 229 TB and supports VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. The system can perform deduplication as a source or target, inline or post-process. It has dual RAID controllers and multiple data paths. Veritas claims that the system is three times faster than the NetBackup 5230 for backup, more than five times faster for recovery and more than four times faster for replication.

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