Thoughts on deduplication performance, scalability and capacity

I’m writing this post from the SNW Conference in Phoenix, and would like to share some perspectives on the product news we are announcing today.   The announcement is primarily about scalability, and helping customers maintain short backup windows as data volumes grow.

Virtualized Architecture

There are two parts to the product news.

First, our new EX10000E 10TB disk backup server allows customers to store a 10TB full backup plus long-term retention in a compact 4U rack-mount server.  Secondly, in addition to the 10TB server, we announced an upgrade to our GRID software that expands the maximum number of servers in a GRID configuration to ten. This more than triples the capacity of prior generation ExaGrid systems. So, with the new 10TB server and our enhanced GRID software, customers can now store a 100TB full backup, plus weeks or months of retention, in a singly managed cost-effective GRID-based disk-backup system with data deduplication.

As a backdrop to the news, customers face an ongoing challenge of backup times growing beyond the allowable backup window as data volumes grow.  Tape libraries-with their known scalability, reliability, and maintenance issues-are typically not a viable option.  And in many cases, disk backup with dedupe products are architected with single controllers, requiring a costly “forklift” upgrade of the controller as data grows.  Our new EX10000E solves this problem for customers with large, growing amounts of data by enabling them to achieve their backup window goals with seamless modular scalability as data grows. Here are a few highlights:

Highly Scalable Virtualized GRID Architecture: Performance scales with data growth since complete dedupe servers (including CPU, memory bandwidth, and storage capacity) are added in a GRID, instead of just more disk capacity.

Best Price/Performance for Shortest Backup Window and Fastest Data Restoration: We help customers achieve shortest backup windows by writing the backup direct to disk at full disk speed, with deduplication done post-process.  And customers get the fastest restore by leveraging our capability to keep the most recent backup in its whole form.

Singly-Managed GRID System: This is one of the capabilities customers say is the most impressive of our GRID architecture.  Customers benefit from a virtualized pool of storage that balances capacity and shares data deduplication across systems automatically, and installations are managed via a single centralized web UI.

Cost-Effective, Flexible Solution with No “Forklift” Upgrades: Users of the ExaGrid system who are not sure of their future data growth can buy just what they need up-front.  Any combination of EX Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10TB systems can be mixed and matched in multiple configurations, and customers avoid over-buying capacity since modular systems can be easily combined in a virtualized GRID for larger capacities as needed.

Green, Energy-Efficient Operation: The EX10000E’s packs a lot of performance (1.8TB/hour) in a compact 4U server and consumes 50% less power on average than prior generations. Customers can store a lot more backup data in the same space and see big savings in power, cooling and space requirements versus standard disk.

We’re the first and only vendor to provide this level of performance and capacity in a NAS-based disk backup system with deduplication starting at a list price of $85,900 for the EX10000E 10TB server.  Our customers are excited about the news.  If you are at the SNW Conference, please stop by our booth and we’d be glad to share more details.

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