CLI vs. Web GUI
The CLI is about as good as a CLI can get. It will finish commands for you, display command trees, and has extensive help. However, it is still a CLI and I prefer a nice polished Web GUI. Unfortunately, this is the main shortcoming of Data Domain that I encountered-the Web GUI is pretty barebones, although it will get the job done. I was able to monitor all three units on one screen, but to really manage them it was necessary to use the CLI. Data Domain officials said most of their clients only use the CLI (this was backed up by client interviews) and they are working to update the power and usability of the Web GUI for their next release. Documentation is excellent-well organized and informative-which goes a long way toward decreasing the potential disruptiveness of adding a new technology to the data center. For example, we upgraded the DD510 using the expansion kit to add six additional 250 GB drives in less than 10 minutes without having to take the unit offline. This established one RAID group of eight disks, one RAID group of six disks and one hot spare that can be used by either group.We then left the shelter of the lab to journey into the real world to uncover the deduplication rates that Data Domain customers have seen over time. We visited The Rockefeller Group, a private corporation involved in commercial real estate, real estate services, and telecommunications services to commercial clients, and spent the morning with Peter Lantry, director of data center operations, and Sanja Kaljanac, senior IT services engineer. Kaljanac reported that they are achieving 100 times data reduction on the DD565 in their data center and 67.5 times data reduction on the branch office DD120s. This was supported by analysis of log files provided by additional Data Domain customers who had compression rates ranging from 10 to 40 times, and max throughput between 300 and 500 MB/s on DD690s. In addition to The Rockefeller Group, other real estate-related enterprises that use Data Domain are Land America Financial Group and Skidmore , Owings and Merrill. Our laboratory and real world testing demonstrates that Data Domain's deduplication technology has real value when used to back up, restore and archive between locations and over WAN links. Given the amount of data required to maintain business continuity across a multi-location enterprise, traditional backup methodologies are being stretched to and even beyond their limits. The combination of a DD120 in branch offices and a DD690 or DD510 in the data center is capable of not only removing these limits, but also shattering them in such a way that you'll rethink (and enhance) current business continuity processes. Pricing as tested: $293,540 DD690-(base configuration with expansion shelves) $210,000 DD510-$19,000 Expansion kit for DD510-$13,000 DD120 (includes replication)-$12,500 Replication software license for DD690-$35,000 Replication software license for DD510-$2,540 Retention Lock Software for DD510-- $1,500 Matthew D. Sarrel is executive director of Sarrel Group, an IT test lab, editorial services and consulting company in New York.
In our lab testing, we saw dedupe rates ranging from 5 to 99 times, depending on the file type and the number of times the same content was backed up. Typically, there will be a slight savings simply due to compression the first time you copy something, then the deduplication kicks in with subsequent copies and improves over time. Many enterprises would have a set up similar to ours for backup, archive and business continuity purposes. The cost and time savings provided by effective deduplication before replication across WAN links is staggering.