Dell EMC PowerProtect DD (Data Domain) Review

We use it to protect our file and email servers. It provides excellent deduplication features.


What is our primary use case?

We as a company use this product to protect our information. We have Data Domain combined NetWorker for our own company, and we also install and provide services around those solutions to our customers.

In our company, Dell Data Domain is used to protect our servers (on-premises), where the most important servers for us are the File Server and the eMail server. The Dell Data Domain we have It´s combined with Dell NetWorker as the backup software. The Data Domain works as the repository of the information, taking advantage of the duplication and all the features that it has. We are getting about 30x as the deduplication ratio. It is managed by the software NetWorker, where all the backup policies reside. We have clients in all the servers directing information from the server to the Data Domain taking advantage of the software client direct feature. We make backups on a daily basis, as incremental backups, and over the weekend we have full backups. We have about 14 servers in our office. Mostly Windows and Linux.

How has it helped my organization?

Yes, Dell Data Domain has improved our organization's backup strategy. As I mentioned, our infrastructure has different types of servers, all of them are virtual servers based on VMware. Once we had to make a recovery and we used the Instant Recovery feature where we started the virtual machine over the Data Domain instead of the VMWare server. Then we used VMotion to move the virtual machine from the Data Domain to the VMware server. We were able to minimize the service failure to 15 minutes approximately. 

What is most valuable?

The feature that I find the most useful is its data duplication. We had been having problems doing backups for the file server because we did not have enough space to store our backups. Data Domain solved that problem for us.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, when you use Data Domain, you have to have at least 15% to 20% of free space so it can work properly. I understand that space is needed to process all the data, but it would be a big improvement if we could use that space too.

For how long have I used the solution?

Just to give you a little background, I work for an integrator and we are also users of the technology. We have installed and used Data Domain for five to six years now. We also provide installation and support services for Data Domain for our customers. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think it is awesome. We've been using Data Domain for almost five years, and during this time we have only had one problem with one disk. We reported that to Dell and they sent us the replacement part and we only have to exchange the disk with the failure. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are looking at the scalability right now, because the family of Data Domain we have is already being replaced, so we are looking at changing the Data Domain. It seems that the upgrade will be easy, but we are still planning how to do the upgrade. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Sometimes it's difficult to reach the real experts to get a solution. The escalation process is not that great, but in the end, it works.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Tape based backups

How was the initial setup?

I installed the Data Domain and it was really easy. 

It is not a big Data Domain, so it was just mounted in our rack. We followed the initial setup where the IP and the name are configured. After that, most of the configurations had to be done over the software.

The complex part of the configuration is in the backup server (software part), it is not in the Data Domain. The Data Domain was really easy to set up. The Data Domain setup took us about four hours.

Our deployment plan was based on the installation of the hardware first, and after that, the software deployment, starting with the backup server.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it alone.

What was our ROI?

N/A

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing was not an issue because it is related to the software part. I'm not really sure about the price, because I think we've gotten a discount as we are partners.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Traditional Disk-Based backups 

What other advice do I have?

The main consideration for anyone interested in Dell EMC Data Domain is to have a good initial sizing. The planning part at the beginning of the project is the most important. 

On a scale of one to ten, I would give Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Domain a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner/Integrator
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