Dell EMC PowerProtect DD (Data Domain) Review

Data Domain is a highly efficient ‘global' De-Duplication storage product that provides multi-protocol read/write access


What is most valuable?

Efficient De-duplication, highly efficient replication, Data Domain BOOST for enabling a level of 'Source-Side’ De-duplication.

How has it helped my organization?

For many clients it has provided a Backup & Archive tier of storage separate from primary storage systems, replicated so as to eliminating the need for tape and has enabled organisations to achieve backups within backup windows and provide an appropriate place to tier and archive inactive data too whilst ensuring it is protected, secure and recoverable.

What needs improvement?

Tighter integration with certain storage arrays or software for even more seamless data tiering perhaps, however the system is quite hard to fault as it ‘just works’.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Data Domain for over 4 Years, designing, implementing and integrating it as part of a solution for many clients with diverse needs of all scales.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Watch out for getting the sysadmin default password wrong more than 5 times, it will lock you out and requires a hard reset which has to be done via serial connection and is time consuming. My best advice is to create at least another admin account immediately at deployment time with a simple password as a ‘backdoor’ and then remove this account once configuration is complete.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, the product (both hardware and software) is very stable and robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In some of the entry level models (DD2200, 2500) you have to be aware of the scalability limitations and ensure you purchase a large enough controller if you foresee growth and scaling beyond its recommended operating parameters as typically the controllers cannot be upgraded in place or without data migration. It is important to get a qualified EMC storage professional to size and design the solution for your purposes up front. However, the DD2500 can scale to 3 x Expansion Shelves (130TB Raw) and the larger models can scale well beyond this up to multi-petabyte scale so typically there are no real scalability issues. You have a LOT of backup and archive data if you fill one of the large systems, however proper planning and design should prevent this ever occurring in the first place.

How are customer service and technical support?

EMC Support provides a high quality service, however I have encountered very few technical issues with this particular product. When a customer did have an issue due to their backup product filling the Data Domain system (backup application mis-configuration issue) EMC Support worked tirelessly to resolve the issue with a high quality and faultless approach.

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

I have seen other software based and hardware based De-duplication storage products, so far none has lived up to the efficiency, scalability and integrity of Data Domain.

How was the initial setup?

Very simple, just follow the prompts for the ‘config system’ command from the CLI. The only issue is with the new generation systems initial configuration is via Serial connection, there is no VGA port or pre-configured IP address, however after initial configuration all is very straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I have implemented this solution for clients working for a Partner/Integrator many many times, I have also designed solutions with Data Domain for EMC… therefore I cannot answer this question without being biased. However the Data Domain system is relatively concise and not monolithic to configure in a short space of time, typically the more time will be spent tweaking and tuning backup applications to write to it in the most efficient manner.

What other advice do I have?

Fantastic product that really is the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of backup/archive/bulk storage products, so usable and can save significant $ and can save many headaches with data management, the more you store on it the better De-duplication and greater ROI you get. If you archive inactive data to this product you can reduce primary storage (SAN/NAS) use by an average of 70%.


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

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ExpertTop 5Real User

Just a note regarding restores when using Veeam as it reads in a single stream so the restore process of large servers (1TB or greater) can take some time. Check in to VDPA or Avamar if you have large servers and restore often.

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Vendor

Can anyone share their actual Dedupe ratios? Thanks!

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ExpertTop 5Real User

We get a compression ratio of approximately 90.4%. Within the last 24 hours we have gotten 95.8%. Pretty darn good on the new DD2500 we have.