EMC Data Domain Review

If you have a senior backup and/or storage tech, go for it. If not, it's harder to manage.

Valuable Features

Deduplication and VTLs.

Improvements to My Organization

As the cost of tapes start to mount, using the DD box for daily and weekly backups, and just keeping monthly backups on tapes, has greatly reduced the cost of backups.

It is an extremely useful tool to use for example in my case, in a redundant environment, as I manage duplications through Netbackup with Storage Lifecycle Policies. I keep my daily and weekly backups on the DD boxes replicated on both sites, and download the monthly backups for archive purposes.

That way I get the instant recovery that the DD unit provides, and in case I need to go live on the secondary environment, I can restore any vmware server in a matter of hours.

Room for Improvement

1 - Adding tapes to the VTL is a complex task.

2 - If DB backups could be somewhat compressed it would just be the dream product.

Use of Solution

5 years on different versions of DD.

Deployment Issues

None on basic deployment for CIF usage, the VTL and virtual tapes is more complex to setup.

Stability Issues

None at all, I have hardly had to reboot the boxes aside from a firmware update.

Scalability Issues

None, I am adding a second disk box and it is pretty much plug and play.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Excellent, when there is a new firmware update, EMC will call me to do the upgrade without even having to ask.

I have had a couple of hard drive fail, and they sent a replacement right away.

Technical Support:

Very good, I had only had to deal with first level support for firmware updates, had some minor discrepancies with the steps to follow, after reading the instructions on how to do the firmware upgrade, the tech wanted to jump a couple steps.

Previous Solutions

No, we had regular backups to tape and a staging area, but no deduplication.

Initial Setup

Initial setup is pretty straightforward, VTL configuration is a bit more complex.

Implementation Team

Implementation was done through a vendor, their level of experience was very good. At the time of implementation I have had experience with the technology, but had not participated in the initial setup of the product.


With the increasing amount of data handled every year, the money we save on tapes, plus the speed that the DD allows backups to be done and having instant restores, makes this product the best investment a backup environment can add.

Other Solutions Considered

At the time of purchase, there was no other solution that was able to perform the same tasks.

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