Earlier this month, EMC announced Data Domain Virtual Edition (DD VE) – and there are several reasons why many will be interested in it and how it might impact their presence in the broader data protection market. EMC is not the first deduplication vendor to offer a virtualized appliance, but for many, ‘Data Domain‘ is still synonymous with the concept of ‘deduplicated disk‘ for data protection and preservation scenarios.
- A virtual dedupe appliance opens up new opportunities for smaller organizations that might not want to justify a physical appliance, but still wanting better deduplication than some backup software alone can achieve. This includes not only SMB customers, but also broadly distributed remote office and branch office (ROBO) scenarios.
- Because of the integrated replication mechanisms between Data Domain appliances, a DD VE ought to provide not only optimized local storage (for local/fast recovery), but also replication for data survivability scenarios such as BC/DR of ROBO data to a corporate headquarters. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) with significantly larger Data Domain systems could offer similar centralized-replication services to subscribing SMB customers that otherwise don’t have a second site to replicate to.
- Another potential MSP or hyperscale cloud scenario is the reverse of DD VEs within ROBOs to a central MSP dedupe. Instead, some MSPs may wish to ‘spin up’ a DD VE per subscriber, as a completely isolated and client-managed target, for hybrid data protection.
- Customers leveraging hyperconverged appliances may be excited to see a virtualized deduplication appliance, especially when paired with built-in hypervisor backup tools or virtualized backup servers, resulting in a completely autonomous infrastructure … with ROBO scenarios, especially those in particularly disconnected environments such as petroleum, ships, military, etc.
Will virtualized deduplication appliances replace physical appliances? Very unlikely. ESG research shows that IT implementers believe the ceiling of capacity for virtualized data protection appliances before necessitating a physical appliance to be around 30TB. Above that limit, most IT professionals presume that a dedicated physical appliance is warranted. That being said, it might be interesting to consider a physical platform running simply a hypervisor and high-performant storage that then runs multiple DD VEs … opening up new scenarios in portability and dynamic infrastructure within a data protection context.
DD VE, formerly known as ‘Project Falcon,’ is something that I have been badgering EMC for over the past few years — and my initial hands-on experiences for the past month have left me delighted! The VM was simple to install (for a non-virtualization guy), easy to initially configure and later incrementally add capacity through a license key change, and seamlessly integrate with an existing backup software application (thanks to the very mature DD Boost ecosystem efforts). Performance has been better than I expected and the VM host requirements are surprisingly light. Check out this video on more of my hands-on perspectives with DD VE.
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about DD VE … and if you aren’t convinced yet, you can discover Data Domain for yourself by simply clicking ‘Download.’