Data Domain dedupe powers disaster recovery services

Data Domain partners with disaster recovery service providers to build services around its data deduplication appliances and replication software.

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Data Domain Inc. is the latest storage provider to make a push into managed disaster recovery services, lining up partners to build disaster recovery services around its data deduplication appliances and replication software.

Data Domain today revealed service provider partners BluePoint Data Storage, Distributed Systems Services and Simply Continuous are using its products in managed disaster recovery services. Data Domain marketing vice president Beth White said she expects more service providers to sign on.

Data Domain either sells its appliances to the service providers that lease it to end users, or users buy the appliances from Data Domain and subscribe to a managed disaster recovery service, White said. While large enterprises are likely to build their own disaster recovery setups, White said smaller companies that can't afford a second location are turning to managed services.

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Software vendor Savvion signed up for Simply Continuous' Data Protect Vault disaster recovery service using the leasing model. Vincent Kenny, director of IT operations for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Savvion, said he dealt with data deduplication vendors directly when he decided to eliminate tape. He decided Data Domain was best for him, but he realized the data dedupe appliances were out of his price range. Data Domain then steered him to Simply Continuous.

"We were thinking of buying two devices and putting one in our office in India and one here," he said. "But we couldn't afford to buy two devices outright. Instead, I got a solution where we could lease this for three years and the price was good. I solved my tape problem, and I have a DR plan."

Savvion leases a Data Domain DD510 appliance with around 2 TB of capacity from Simply Continuous and replicates to another device at the Simply Continuous data center in Phoenix.

When picking a data deduplication vendor, Savvion also looked at Quantum and ExaGrid before deciding Data Domain was the way to go. "I like the way Data Domain compresses on the fly," Kenny said. "Quantum does something similar, but it wasn't clear. The Quantum sales people did not explain their technology clearly."

ExaGrid does not handle compression on the fly, arguing on-the-fly data deduping slows the process. And, Kenny determined the ExaGrid way would require more disk space.

"I had to eliminate ExaGrid because of the way they handled data," he said. "They keep one fresh copy always available. A second copy is deduped and compressed, so we need double the space and that increases cost."

Kenny said he's getting about "eight to 10 times" reduction with Data Domain, and he expects that to improve when he puts all of his company's data on the appliance. Kenny hasn't done any disaster recovery testing yet, but he likes that Simply Continuous allows customers to see and restore their data through a Web portal. "I know it's there," he said.

The amount of data replicated after data deduping determines the price of the Data Protect Vault service. Simply Continuous charges a monthly subscription fee based on the size of the Data Domain appliance. The subscription price begins at $899, and includes Data Domain devices for replication, disaster recovery, customer support and the Web portal. Simply Continuous CEO Tom Frangione said the subscription price usually comes to about $1 per gigabyte after data deduping.

To purchase a DD510 from Data Domain would cost at least $19,000 per box, with replication licenses beginning at $3,500.

Data Domain has no intention of offering services directly, White said. "Our core business is building storage systems. We're staying focused on what we do, and we'll partner with folks providing services. Service is a different model," she said.

Frangione said the disaster recovery service is attracting attention from customers who want to eliminate tape. "We're leveraging deduplication to minimize the bandwidth hit, and we replicate to our data center," he said. The company picked Data Domain as its partner because "they had the best market penetration and also the highest performance" among deduplication vendors."

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