EMC Brings Avamar Backup/Dedupe to Data Center Workloads

Backup/recovery/deduplication software is integrated for the first time with Data Domain to handle larger VMware, Oracle, and SharePoint workloads.

EMC is getting busy cross-pollinating more of its storage intellectual property within its corporate domain.

The storage and data protection giant on April 18 launched version 6.0 of its Avamar deduplication backup software, which is news all by itself. But a further angle is that this marks the first time EMC has orchestrated the integration of Avamar's features into its cousin Data Domain's gateway deduplication storage system.

The results, EMC contends, are significant new capabilities for the protection of a number of environments, including VMware and SharePoint. For the record, EMC owns all three organizations: Avamar (bought in 2006), Data Domain (2009) and VMware (2004).

"After the acquisition of Data Domain in 2009, one of the things we told the market we intended to do was to bring all of our solutions closer together," Rob Emsley, senior director of product marketing at EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division, told eWEEK. "Avamar 6.0 not only continues to back up workloads to the Avamar data store, but now it also backs up specific workloads to Data Domain."

Avamar's well-respected deduplication feature has been targeted at specific backup problem environments-VMware, remote office, branch offices, desktop/laptop-where resources and bandwidth can be a challenge for enterprise-wide backup and recovery, Emsley said.

"In the integration with Data Domain, we're really expanding the use case of Avamar to support the enterprise applications that find themselves in the data center. A lot of these applications are already being backed up to Data Domain, but the software being used has been anything but Avamar," Emsley said.

The Avamar upgrade also handles backups of Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, and SQL server images. When used in coordination with Data Domain, which has the ability to support multiple workloads simultaneously, Avamar 6 gives IT administrators a number of new options in time saving.

For Data Domain admins, the integration of Avamar and Data Domain is delivered via Data Domain Boost software, now an optional feature embedded in Avamar clients. DD Boost enables Avamar to centrally manage backup, recovery and replication of data to Data Domain storage systems.

It distributes a deduplication project differently from Avamar's standard software, thus optimizing performance for larger streaming loads, such as digital video and full database backups or restores, Emsley said.

"We have recorded times as fast as 43 minutes to back up 1,000 virtual machines," Emsley told eWEEK.

Using Avamar 6.0, there are now three ways to restore a VM: to the original, to an existing VM, or to a new VM.

Avamar's Data Store also has been updated to its fourth generation, which more than doubles usable capacity to 124TB. In addition, multiple Data Domain systems (including the new DD890, which supports up to 285 TB of usable capacity) can be added modularly for additional storage as needed, Emsley said.

EMC Avamar 6.0 is available now; pricing information is available upon consultation.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...