Top Three Reasons Not to Believe the Deduplication Appliance Datasheets : Reason #4 (There is always more)
To follow up on reason 2 (marketing metrics are not your metrics), I recently found another interesting case. I saw on the news that a major deduplication appliance vendor had just released new models. So, I downloaded and started reading their datasheets and technical presentations (as always), and one thing surprised me—the very high stream counts. The stream count was always accompanied by keywords such as “up to,” which means “less than or equal to,” so in other words nothing is guaranteed. Because the devil is always in the details, I searched for other keywords such as “concurrent (streams)” and so on without success. I also found strange figures, such as outbound replication stream counts higher than inbound, which is unusual. (Most customers need more “fan ins” than “fan outs.”)
For years, the main performance indicators for purpose built backup appliances have been the “ingest performance.” The maximum performance published on most vendors’ datasheets are the highest backup rates that the appliance can achieve in a very controlled environment. Usually, these rates are achieved starting with no data on the appliance, so that there is no deduplication occurring. Here again, there are a number of factors that influence the maximum ingest performance. These include how much redundancy is in the data being backed up, the number of backup servers and streams, and the age of the system.
Quantum has been providing storage and backup solutions for over 30 years — and we consider ourselves to be specialists in this market. Nonetheless, we do not control the rules of our own market (or its marketing). Bigger generalist players with unlimited marketing budgets often bend the rules, not always in the interest of customers. Here are three reasons not to believe everything they tell you in the deduplication appliance datasheets.
It was great to see two different pieces of industry news this week that validated our DXi technology as well as the ongoing strength of the deduplication appliance market as a whole.
Las Vegas is the home for what’s going to be one of the biggest hotspot for determining the future of IT and data protection. VeeamOn 2015 is almost here. Quantum and Veeam recently cemented our Premier Partnership and we’re excited to talk about how we’re helping customers break free from old school, traditional ways of protecting data. That’s what Kicking The Cartel is all about. Storage companies will be all over VeeamOn, competing for your attention, showing off their latest and greatest in an attempt to be one step ahead of the rapid change in the way companies store data. And we all know the way people access data is changing – with access patterns and virtual workloads becoming less and less predictable. Customers need to have greater access to their data, and they don’t want to pay thousands of dollars per TB for a ‘one size fits all’ to protect it.
Since launching the DXi6900 in July, we’ve seen remarkable customer interest. That interest is one of the key drivers of the 11% year-over-year growth in DXi revenue we reported last quarter. Now another data point showing how the DXi6900 and the entire DXi family stacks up against other deduplicating backup appliances has just been published: Industry analyst DCIG issued their annual buyer’s guide and the DXi6900 earned a “recommended” rating, with just .45 points separating it from the top spot. In fact, DXi appliances took three of the top 6 spots in the list. So why is the DXi6900 getting so much attention? And how do DXi's deduplication solutions work for "real world" customers?
Gartner just published their first annual Magic Quadrant for the deduplication appliance market, and I think it’s an accurate portrayal of the market, as well as good validation of Quantum’s DXi deduplication technology. The Magic Quadrant itself is shown below (the full report can be obtained via Gartner), and Quantum was the only vendor ranked as a “Challenger.” This is a great ranking for Quantum and based on Gartner’s methodology this reflects a strong ability to execute, capable products, and the financial resources to sustain continued growth. The strengths that Gartner highlights in their report validate our technology and some of our key differentiation.
We’re really excited for VMworld this week - once again one of the best opportunities to showcase our technologies and the ways that we are helping customers rethink how they protect VMware data, as well as other data types. At VMworld, we’ll be talking about how “Backup is Busted.” What does that mean? Backup is Busted means that batch backup is not designed for protecting virtual servers, or other specialized, challenging data like large unstructured file content. When it comes to virtual servers and VMware data, we’ll be showcasing our vmPRO and DXi-V deduplication technology, which uses a unique approach to protecting VM’s. Rather than the traditional, network-and-resource intensive approach of doing batch backups in proprietary formats, vmPRO snaps VMs in native format, first prepping the VMs for maximum data reduction and network savings. vmPRO uses the native tools available in VMware, instead of treating VM’s like physical servers.
Deduplication is now widely recognized as a proven technology in the datacenter. In fact, it seems to be cropping up everywhere – from flash arrays to backup applications, and of course disk backup appliances. There’s no end in sight for structured and unstructured data growth, and with the proliferation of technology like deduplication, it is not unusual that the level of complexity increases, as does the challenge to keep it in check. A good first step is to recognize where deduplication can best be applied. Here are a few of the considerations.
In one of my favorite bits from Cheers!, Diane quotes Henry David Thoreau, “Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify! Simplify!” Coach ponders for a beat and replies with possibly the first deduplication joke: “Couldn’t he just use one ‘simplify’?” I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity this week as Quantum simplifies the DXi family. Now with just three deduplication appliances – the DXi V-Series for virtual environments, the DXi4700 for SMBs, and the all-new DXi6900 for mid-range to enterprise environments – Quantum’s new dedupe family covers the same range of data protection TBs that the industry sales leader covers with nine products. That in itself is a magnificent act of simplification for customers sorting through purchasing decisions for multisite implementations. The announcement sparked a flurry of industry conversation.
Today, Quantum announced an enriched and simplified DXi®-Series deduplication family, including a new DXi6900 appliance, to serve as the foundation for next-generation data protection. The DXi6900 is powered by Quantum’s DXi software with StorNext 5 technology at its core to optimize performance, scalability and manageability for enterprises and service providers. When combined with Quantum’s Q-Cloud™ Protect services, the new DXi-Series enables customers to build data protection workflows that extend across sites and to the cloud. Check out Quantum’s Director of Product Marketing as he introduces the DXi6900 and talks about how Quantum’s latest DXi offering enables industry-leading scalability and faster backups,all while easing the strain on network bandwidth and reducing overall operating expenses (video).