Dell Unveils No-Brainer Midmarket Storage Package

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-07 Print this article Print

Dell continues to refine its storage product line with a new disk-only backup/recovery system aimed at midmarket users. Setup and management of the "turnkey" system is automated so that any person who can use drop-down menus and a wizard can operate it, Dell's top storage executive says.

Dell on Oct. 7 introduced a new disk-to-disk backup and recovery package and aimed it squarely at midmarket enterprises with few or no IT staff members, which is still by far the fastest-growing enterprise market segment.

Dell touts that its new PowerVault DL2000 cuts backup process time in half and data "restore" times by three-quarters, as compared with typical tape systems. Dell claims the whole thing can be set up and be backing up files in less than 30 minutes-by a non-IT person.

The DL2000 automates the setup and management of the tiered-storage backup. The turnkey system features automated setup and centralized management for backup, recovery and deduplication. Advanced add-on features, such as archiving and replication, can be added later to increase functionality as needed.

"What we're really trying to do is take out all the complexity associated with disk-based backup," Praveen Asthana, Dell's vice president for storage, told me. "Disk-based backup comes in a couple of flavors: One is a virtual tape device, called a VTL [virtual tape library], and secondly, real disk-based backup, where you can back up stuff in a random data format.

"The problem with a VTL is you take a really good solution, which is disk, and make it into a crappy solution, which is tape. You basically emulate tape, so you make it slow, it gives you serial access instead of random access ... you do all the things that are really bad. You take a silk suit and make it into polyester."

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VTLs are designed to emulate tape backup machines, so that legacy tape-based storage units can continue to be used in today's ever-modernizing data centers. They are well-known for being ponderous to handle.
The DL2000 eliminates the need for users to configure RAID or allocate LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) to their backup storage software, Asthana said. Its automated dynamic disk provisioning feature configures and sets up the disks for immediate use, he said.

The DL2000 comes with a choice of CommVault or Symantec management software, which can be preinstalled and verified.

Another standard feature is continuous data protection for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and file servers, in addition to protection for VMware and Microsoft virtual machines.

Up to 144TB of usable capacity can be added on the fly without requiring users to reconfigure or set up the device. When used in coordination with Dell's PowerVault TL2000 or TL4000 arrays, or the ML6000 tape library, the DL2000 can provide backup-to-disk and rapid restoration.

Transfer to digital tape for offsite disaster recovery also can be implemented if needed, Asthana said.

The new system will be available later this month. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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