by Bill Valle

EMC Data Protection and Data Domain Systems Enhanced

EMC is announcing new hardware and software products for Data Domain, Avamar, NetWorker and Mozy that meet the requirements of modern data protection challenges. EMC Data Domain systems deliver up to 27x more scalability than the closest competitor, eliminating storage silos by consolidating all backup and archive data on a single protection storage platform. Enhancements to the EMC Data Protection Suite provide deeper integration with Data Domain systems and EMC storage with optimizations for virtual environments and greater visibility and control for the protection of enterprise applications. EMC is now delivering a full range of capabilities that enable backup teams to shift from the chaos of accidental architecture to a more effective Protection Storage Architecture.

New Midrange Data Domain Systems

The new Data Domain DD2500, DD4200, DD4500 and DD7200 systems deliver the performance and scalability to consolidate all backup and archive data onto a single protection storage platform. These new midrange systems are up to 4x faster and 10x more scalable than the existing Data Domain systems they replace. The new systems support up to 540 data streams, a 3x increase. Designed to lower total cost of ownership for backup and archive storage, the new systems provide up to a 38% lower cost-per gigabyte.

Extended Backup and Archive Application Support

Data Domain systems now support direct backup from SAP HANA Studio via NFS – enabling SAP HANA DBAs to leverage efficient protection storage while maintaining control of backup processes. In addition, DD Boost for Oracle RMAN now supports Oracle Exadata and SAP running on Oracle. To support a broader range of archive storage environments, Data Domain systems now offer seamless integration with archiving applications from OpenText, IBM and Dell. With these new integrations, Data Domain systems can be deployed with over 20 products for file, email, SharePoint, content management and database archiving.

Data Protection Suite Enhancements

EMC Avamar 7 now supports all major data center workloads being directed to Data Domain systems, with the addition of file system and NAS/NDMP backups. Avamar extends its leadership for virtual environments with new VM Instant Access, which allows a VM to be booted from a Data Domain system and up-and running in less than 2 minutes. Also, a new VMware vSphere web client allows VMware administrators to manage Avamar directly from a familiar interface.

EMC NetWorker 8.1 introduces new integrated snapshot management featuring a new wizard-based user interface, auto-discovery, and intelligent assignment of snapshot storage. Integrations with Data Domain systems are with Data Domain Boost support over Fibre Channel. This enables 50% faster backups and 2.5x faster restores compared to VTL-based configurations.

New Cloud Backup Functionality

Mozy by EMC makes it easier to scale cloud backup while reducing cost and complexity. New Active Directory integration reduces the administrative burden of separately creating user accounts and enhances self-service, which greatly reduces the TCO. Keyless activation accelerates the process for provisioning new users, resulting in greater scalability.

The Key is Integration

While at the EMC event this week, the clear message from everyone who spoke is that beyond a series of new features across all of these products, what nets the best value is in unifying them. EMC execs were questioned by the audience around why integration hasn't come faster and the answer was predictable. These business units have been operating in silos as they have been purchased by EMC, and in fact some of these units used to compete against each other. So the migration to same-team integration takes more effort than would appear on paper.

From the hardware side, EMC has a little work to do there as well. Most obvious are the changes to their expansion shelves for Data Domain, which actually have 40% greater length than a standard full rack length (pictured above). That gives Data Domain a substantial disadvantage in terms of density, which is a problem in the space-constrained data center. We're told though that it's reasonable to expect full-length expansion shelves sooner than later.

Investing in the Future

Aligning the backup and recovery teams will be critical for EMC going forward. Though EMC is the current leader in the backup and recovery space in both software and hardware sales, EMC also must invest for the future. During the EMC event, the company noted that EMC invests more in software R&D than the next closest backup and recovery software vendor has in sales. Of course, not all money spent is spent wisely, but the point is that EMC's scale and leadership position given them a substantial advantage that can't be replicated by anyone else in this space. 

While EMC can be viewed largely as a software vendor, especially in the backup and recovery segment, there is still opportunity for differentiation  on the hardware side in terms of integrating new technologies. Flash is one of these technologies that arose a few times over the course of the event. While flash rarely pokes its head up in the backup appliance space, with new features like Instant Access, it's not unreasonable to one day fathom this feature leveraging a flash tier within Data Domain to make the temporary hosting of these VMs in a crisis situation less painful. Of course, EMC is quiet on just exactly how flash and other emerging tech will integrate with Data Domain; the platform will continue to evolve and remove the need for legacy solutions like tape, while integrating more fully with primary storage offerings and virtualization processes. 

Availability

All new EMC data protection products will be generally available in Q3 2013 and will also be available within VSPEX Proven Infrastructures in the same timeframe.

EMC Enterprise Backup, Recovery and Archive Solutions

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