Dell Brings Advanced Backup and Disaster Recovery To The SMB Market

Dell today announced its first entrance into the disk backup target appliance market in the form of the new Dell DR4000. Targeted directly at the medium-size business, the DR4000 comes with built-in deduplication, compression and replication as part of a unique and all-inclusive licensing program. Dell feels that the medium-sized business market has been underserved by the current crop of purpose built backup appliances (PBBA).

The Dell DR4000 will initially be available in three configurations of either 3.6 TB, 7.2 TB or 12 TB raw capacity. When combined with RAID and the effective deduplication rate customers should expect logical capacities of approximately 35 TB, 77 TB, and 130 TB respectively. This assumes a 15X deduplication and compression ratio which is reasonable for the backup workload.

While users can expect more or less the same deduplication rate with the DR4000 as they would with any of the other market-leading deduplication appliances, what separates the DR4000 from the competition is how well it focuses on the medium-size business. Total cost of ownership is attractive because features such as innovative firmware and an all-inclusive licensing model ensure optimal functionality and the assurance of no hidden costs for desired future features. DR4000 has a simple installation process with full, intuitive remote setup and management capabilities and supports industry leading backup vendors such as CommVault and Symantec.

As mentioned earlier, the replication licenses are also included allowing for WAN efficient 1:1 replication between two DR4000s. This again addresses a key need in the medium-sized business market since many have alternate sites that they can replicate to, but the expense to deploy a replicated backup solution has kept them from leveraging those alternate sites. With the license included on the DR4000, all the customer has to do is buy a second unit and they have built the foundation for a solid disaster recovery plan.

Storage Swiss take

The Dell DR4000 promises to be a contender in the rapidly growing purpose built backup appliance market. More importantly, it is focused on the portion of the market that seems to be underserved. These customers are looking for an affordable solution to migrate from tape or augment their current tape infrastructure. This certainly does not preclude the DR4000 from being used as a remote or branch office solution in larger enterprises.

Almost as important this shows Dell executing on its strategy of integrating the Ocarina Networks technology. It is further evidence that, over time, we will see an end-to-end deduplication strategy that will eliminate redundant data throughout the entire storage infrastructure. Dell is quickly showing both the market as well as its customers and prospects that it can acquire technologies and integrate those technologies in a way that solves real-world problems that the data center is facing.


Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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