Dell EMC Data Domain Boost Review

A reliable backup solution that scales with your throughput


What is our primary use case?

We are an integrator and this is one of the solutions that we supply to our customers. I do some of the training on this solution for our customers, as well, so I use it personally in that regard.

This is primarily used as a backup solution.

What needs improvement?

This solution should cover more platforms, and there should be more product coverage.

I think that the GUI should be improved because sometimes, not everything is properly displayed.

I would like to see better Fibre Channel support.

DDBoost is one of the most important features of the Data Domain appliance. The acronym stands for Data Domain Bandwidth Optimized OST, which gives the ability to distribute backup job tasks between DD and the host which writes to DD. This is called DSP - Distributed Segment Processing which is used during the backup process.

Another part of DDBoost, Clone Controlled Replication aka File Managed Replication, which is used on backup system site to easily replicate DDBoost created backup pieces of such. Lack of this functionality is, in my opinion, big limitation. When you consult interoperability matrices you will find (as an example of not full coverage)

1. No DDBoost support for Spectrum Space (former Tivoli Storage Manager) which claims market share higher than 15%

2. No support for Managed File Replication for Veeam Backup & Replication DD Boost over FC - which is one of the backup software leaders

The above are the most obvious examples on which I based my RFE to broaden the coverage.

FC improvements – I’d like to run DD replication over FC; if it would be possible then using DDBoost over FC and Replication over FC will remove the necessity for any data movement over IP. This solution would give us a clear separation between transport protocols used for management purposes (TCP) and those used for backup data transfer (FC).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In my opinion, the stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on the model that you have. For each model, you have a limited number of terabytes per hours. It provides the option to scale as you need it. Overall, scalability is great.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never needed to contact technical support personally.

How was the initial setup?

I have not personally performed a setup for a system that was going into production. For the environment that I was using, the initial setup was very simple.

What about the implementation team?

For the environment that I tried, I performed the implementation myself.

What other advice do I have?

My suggestion for anybody who is implementing this solution is to use the Fibre Channel, if possible. If not, then try to use it over IP. If you cannot use either then there are other options, but the Fibre Channel is preferred. It gives you not only an increased speed but also some additional features.

The biggest lesson that I have learned when working with this solution is that you can always do something better. I have been in the backup industry for more than twenty years, and there have been times when I was bored with the products. What I have found is that you can always expect to see something new, and something better.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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