No Frills Deduplication Appliance – Dell Updates DR Series

IT professionals in charge of data protection face a never ending challenge to get backups done faster while data volumes continue to increase. Add to that increased concerns about the security of data that they are protecting. While some deduplication appliances have added features that expanded their use case, many data centers simply want a cost effective yet capable solution to compliment their existing data protection architecture. The Dell DR series has provided that cost effective core feature set since its introduction and in its latest release Dell remains focused on delivering capabilities that address the performance, capacity and security challenges that all data center’s face.

What Do You Need From Your Backup Target

As backup appliances become more feature ladened, IT professionals need to consider what they really need from these appliances. Some appliances today provide integration with specific software solutions and even applications. Allowing a broad delegation and management over the backup process. All those capabilities add to the cost of the solution. For organizations that have already consolidated to one or two backup solutions, these advanced deduplication appliances may be overkill.

What Are the Dell DR Series of Appliances

The Dell DR Series of deduplication appliances is made up of the DR6000 for enterprise organizations, DR4100 for mid-sized companies, and DR2000v for remote offices and small businesses. The devices range in price and capacity based on their target market. What makes Dell unique in this space is they are focused on the software component of the solution, which means when the software is upgraded all customers, past, present and future benefit.

For a detailed look at the Dell DR Series of Deduplication Appliances, read our product analysis “Dell Brings Advanced Backup and Disaster Recovery To The SMB Market”.

High Capacity and High Performance

In this release Dell has added support for 6TB drives which allows for a dramatic increase in capacity of the systems. For example the DR6000 can now deliver a usable capacity of 252TBs, making it one of the more dense backup appliances on the market, reduced data center floor space and power consumption.

In addition Dell has improved the ingest performance of these systems to 25TB per hour on the DR6000. The DR4100 picks up support for Rapid CIFS and Rapid NFS which introduces source-side deduplication capabilities for the NAS protocols. As a result this system can sustain an ingest rate of up to 17TBs per hour.


As data retention time increases the concern of security of data at rest increases with it. The longer data sits idle the longer it is exposed to theft. To address this growing concern all of the Dell DR Series now include encryption at rest capabilities. Current DR series customers can retroactively encrypt their data as well.

Supporting Legacy Environments with VTL

Dell also made it easier for customers with older backup software solutions that only support tape, or that have far superior tape support than they do disk support, with the addition of a VTL model to the DR series. With the software installed a Dell DR Series appliance looks like a tape library to the legacy backup software solution.

Direct NDMP Support

Environments that have a large investment in NAS also benefit from this update. These customers can now backup directly to a Dell DR series appliance without having to go through a backup server. This reduces network transfer times and allows these customers to complete backups much faster.

StorageSwiss Take

The Dell DR Series should not be overlooked by IT professionals considering a disk backup solution. While it does not, today, have some of the advanced features of some of its more expensive competitors, it does have the core features that most data protection infrastructures need and it delivers those at an affordable price point. For environments with an already well defined backup infrastructure and management process the Dell DR series may just fit the bill.

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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