EMC World 2015 – From PBBA to Protection Storage

While the basic backup process will probably always be the foundational component of data protection, IT professionals are demanding more from the data protection process, functions like replication, archive, snapshot management and application availability. Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBA) need to meet these growing foundational backup responsibilities, while they evolve to help meet the new demands being placed on the data protection process. In other words PBBAs need to become protection storage systems.

Meeting the Foundational Growth

At EMC World Data Domain announced a new protection storage solution to meet the growth in its foundational requirement, backup. The new 9500 provides a throughput of 58.7 TBs per hour, meaning that the system can receive 470 TBs in less than eight hours. The system has the potential to scale to 86PB of protected storage when deduplication and compression are factored in. The architecture is still scale-up, but this release proves the ability of these architectures to ride Moore’s Law to offer continued increases in performance.

In this release the gains in performance come from more than just faster CPUs. Data Domain also made improvements to the Data Domain operating system, specifically in the way it handles meta-data, so that all systems in the field should see an performance increase when they upgrade to the new operating system.

Another announcement from EMC World was the DD 2200. This is an entry-level Protection Storage appliance that supports up to 17TB of useable capacity and potentially 860TBs of logical capacity factoring deduplication and compression. It also boasts an ingest rate of 4.7TBs per hour, and is the first Data Domain appliance available for under $9,995.

Virtual Data Domain

Another key announcement was the technical preview of Project Falcon, a virtual Data Domain Protection Storage appliance. Data Domain running as a VM can have many interesting use cases including a new level of affordability for small data centers as well as the ideal remote office / branch office solution. But I think the most interesting use case could be the integration of Data Domain technology into hyper-scale and hyper-converged architectures.

ProtectPoint Expansion

Last year EMC released ProtectPoint that allows the direct backup of a primary storage system to a protected storage system. Initially RecoverPoint was available only for VMAX, and in its initial release it only could protect Oracle. RecoverPoint did not use RMAN to access the data. Now, in the latest release, RecoverPoint can protect Oracle via RMAN, and adds support for MS-SQL, DB2 and the Windows file system. RecoverPoint can be a game changer for these applications by significantly reducing recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO).

StorageSwiss Take

Data Domain is an example of a company that prospered before its EMC acquisition, and a prime example of one that has prospered since. In fact you could make the case that a product like ProtectPoint would not even exists if Data Domain were not part of EMC. As a result Data Domain is more than a PBBA, it is an example of protection storage. At EMC World Data Domain reestablishes itself as a high end enterprise at the entry level. It also continues the move to a software focused company with Project Falcon and functionality like ProtectPoint, Boost and others.

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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